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Final year student marks one year in prison, as court says file missing, father alleges

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A final year student at the University of Nigeria, Chisom Pascal Ugwunyi has spent one year and still counting in the Nsukka prison in Enugu state without conviction.

According to his father, Mr Ugwunyi, the case was prolonged after his (Chisom) case filed was declared missing in the Nsukka High court about four times.

Chisom’s ordeal

The Political Science student was accused by the Enugu state police command of robbery and arrested on October 3, 2019, after writing his final year examination.

Recounting his ordeal, Mr Ugwunyi (Jnr) said he was arrested because his phone was found at a crime scene he did not partake in.

He said on the last day of his exam before his final year project defence, his debtor had come to collect his phone due to his inability to pay the loan he took to “sort out my school affairs.”

“I am a student at the University of Nigeria, they said my phone was found at a robbery scene. I have been here since October 2019, sometimes, I appeared in court. October this year (2021) it will be two years,” he said.

“I didn’t pay the money (loan) on the agreed day I was supposed to pay the money, So, the boy saw me along the Faculty of Education, on October 3rd, 2019, and (he) said since I am writing my final exam today, I might no longer pay him the money, so he collected my cell phone, which was a small phone. That was the same day the phone was picked up at a scene.”

Read also: Final year student lands in jail for duping American woman

According to the detainee’s father, Mr Ugwunyi, his son (Chisom) has appeared four times in court, but the case file was missing until around February 2021 when he applied for bail, then the presiding judge, Justice Eluka “struck out” the matter, but “they don’t want to release my son to me. They said the case has been transferred to the DPP (Director of Public Prosecution, Enugu state).”

“I have been going to the lawyer. I have not rested. He (Chisom) is supposed to have graduated by 2020,” the distraught father said.

He noted that the “state council” are yet to visit the file.

The lawyer representing the defendant, Barrister Ugwuoke said he cannot comment on a case that has not been decided in court. Meanwhile, the state’s lawyer, Onidoma Mattias said he “appeared in the motion for bail,” but was not granted.

Also, the state Superintendent of Police, Daniel Ndikwe said if the defendant is presented at the correctional centre, then “he is not in the police custody.”

By Oluwakemi Adelagun…

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