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From the bar to behind the bars: Innocent Lagos Resident Spends 2 Years in Prison for ‘Assault Occasioning Harm’


A Lagos State resident has regained freedom after spending two years in prison for an accidental assault.

According to a post by Headfort Foundation, a prison reform initiative, on Monday, the Lagos resident, identified as Samson, was arrested in 2021 after someone mistakenly stepped on a broken bottle and sustained injury.

The foundation stated that Samson had gone to a bar with his friends after work on June 2, 2021, when the incident happened.

He saw a guy from his area, he called the guy, but the guy did not hear him, so Samson moved close to where the guy was standing and tapped him at the back,” Headfort said.

“On turning towards Samson, he mistakenly hit the bottle of beer on Samson’s hand, the said bottle fell and broke, and the same guy mistakenly stepped on the broken bottle and sustained injury.

“After a serious argument and altercation, Samson was reported, arrested, and detained for 3 months at the police station since he could not afford the amount he was told to pay.

Samson was said to have been arraigned in court in September 2021 and charged with the offence of assault occasioning harm when he could not perfect his bail at the police station.

“The court registrar referred his case to our lawyers at Ogba Magistrate Court and our lawyer started representing him in court. The matter suffered several adjournments at the instance of the prosecution, and the complainant was not coming to court to prove his case,” Headfort said.

“On the 9th of May 2023, our lawyer made an application to the court to strike out the matter for want of diligent prosecution; the court granted the application and struck out the matter. Samson regained his freedom after 2 years in prison.”

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