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Friday, June 2, 2023

After one year, judge frees man accused of stealing plantain

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Chief Judge (CJ) of Akwa Ibom State, Justice Ekaete Obot, yesterday granted amnesty to a 22 year-old prison inmate, John Sunday Akpan, who was accused by his uncle of stealing a bunch of plantain from his late father’s compound.

The victim, a native of Ete community in Ikot Abasi Local Government Area, was set free by the CJ during her inspection tour of Ikot Abasi Correctional Centre.

Akpan’ said “My Lord, I was living in Port Harcourt until I came home to my village to clear my late father’s compound, and I saw a bunch of ripe plantain and I cut it.

“When my uncle came back home, he did not see the plantain, he called Police to come and arrest me and left me. I was left in prison here since 8th March, 2022. Even the plantain that I cut has spoilt in the house. I am an orphan, the first son of the family.

“It would have been better if my uncle had told me to handover my late father’s lands to him than to dump me in Prison. My Lord, please, have mercy on me.”

Justice Obot, furthermore noted that “the number of years the inmate has spent in prison was sufficient punishment for the offense of stealing a bunch of plantain. He can’t be kept here indefinitely without prosecution. I hereby release him unconditionally.”

However, Akpan’, whose joy knew no bounds as he repeatedly jumped and flung his hands towards the sky, praising God, was one of the three inmates of Ikot Abasi Correctional Centre that regained freedom including a 38 year-old father of two from Ikot Afang village in Mkpat Enin LGA, who said his village head had accused him of stealing COVID-19 relief materials and was dumped in prison since 2020.

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