Reprieve came the way of Mr. Adedokun Joseph, an ex-official of Nigerian Correctional Services (NCoS) formerly Nigerian Prison Services, who has been facing prosecution for 12 years, for allegedly aided a convict to convey Indian hemps into the Kirikiri Prisons, Lagos, as he was discharged and acquitted of the allegations, by Justice Saliu Saidu, of a Lagos Federal High Court.
Adedokun ordeal started in 2009, when he was charged alongside an inmate of the prison, Murina Yisa, on offences bordering on unlawful possession of 20 kilograms of cannabis, popularly called Indian hemps and for aiding and abating the inmate to convey the said banned weeds.
Upon their arraignment before the court, the inmate, Murina Yisa, pleaded guilty to the charge and he was consequently convicted and setenced by the court. While the prisons official maintained his innocence, by pleaded not guilty to the charges.
During his trial which began afresh on June 3, 2013, the prosecution, the National Drugs Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) through its prosecutor, T. E. Asuquo, called six witnesses and tendered a Dangote Cement bag that used in keeping the banned weeds.
One of the witnesses called by the NDLEA was Adedokun’s co-defendant, Murina Yisa, who insisted that the warder knew nothing about the alleged crimes.
To exonerate the warder of the allegations, the prison inmate, Murina had told the court that; “when it was time for us to go back to Kirikiri, before entering the vehicle, the second defendant (Adedokun) asked me who the Owner of the bag is and the content, I told him that the bag belongs to Sesan, an inmate in Custody. The second defendant tried to put his hand inside the bag but it was hard for him to penetrate under. He ordered me to enter the Vehicle and we went to the Prison.
“When we got to Kirikiri Prison gate, I was searched again, the Kulikuli bag was turned upside down and ten (10) Nylon bags of Indian Hemp were found inside”.
Upon conclusion of trial, Adedokun through his lawyer, Adekunle Ojo, urged the court to discharge and acquit him of the allegations. While the NDLEA urged the count to convict him based on the evidence of the witnesses and the exhibit tendered.
In discharging and acquitting Adedokun of charges bordering on unlawful possession of 20 kilograms of India Hemps and aiding and abating to convey same, Justice Saidu after perusing the submissions of parties and supported it with several legal authorities held that; “the Prosecution has not been able to proof before this Court that the second defendant aided the first defendant in committing the offence of being in possession of Indian Hemp. The law is trite that the Prosecution has the burden to prove the Commission of an offence and the standard of proof is proof beyond reasonable doubt.
“Based on the foregoing, I discharge and acquit the second defendant on Count two of the Charge”.