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Woman Jailed In Kirikiri For “Opening An Account” Released

A woman identified as Rosemary Godday has been released from Kirikiri maximum prison in Lagos following an investigation into her case of “forgery”.

Rosemary Godday and Adejoke of Flemer Project Initiative

According to Flemer Project Initiative (@the_flemer), an initiative which offers “free legal services to indigent awaiting trial detainees in Nigeria”, Godday, who sells fish and raincoats at Bar Beach and allegedly suffers from a communication delinquency had opened an account with an undisclosed bank and deposited over a million naira.

When she went to collect some money, she had “issues with disparity between her names with the bank and her real name” causing them to request that she gets an affidavit and that is where her problem began.

Read the complete story here

“Late December 2018, Rosemary Godday, was sent to jail for owning a Bank Account. If you think this Sounds ridiculous, then you better go ahead to read the full story.

Before her arrest and consequent incarceration last December, Rosemary was a trader or better put, a hustler. She worked on the bar-beach as a fish seller, barbecue vendor, raincoats seller amongst other petty businesses that fetched her daily income.

While doing her business, she had a number of Bank Accounts, but was depositing the bulk of her money in a personal savings Account with a Commercial Bank that we’d rather not mention at the moment.

Last year, she had issues with disparity between her names with the bank and her real name e.g Roseline instead of Rosemary. So she went ahead to swear an affidavit to that effect.

Surprisingly, when she returned to the Bank with the sworn Affidavit, the bank refused to acknowledge her as the owner of the Account. This was done despite the fact that her signature matched the one on other official documents relating to the Bank Account in question.

The Bank not only denied her access to her Account, but in fact went ahead to arrest her for ‘fraud’ and forgery.

It didn’t take long for Rosemary to realize that all the money in her Account had vanished into thin air. Yes, someone had emptied her Account. According to her, the money in question was at least a million Naira (she strongly believes it’s actually much more).

This was how Rosemary found herself in police detention. She was eventually charged for forgery and stealing and has been in prison custody since December 2018.

We met Rosemary at Kirikiri female Prison during our visit in May and decided to take on her case.

Today was the second time we would be appearing in court as her legal Counsel. During our first appearance in court, the prosecution counsel failed to produce his complainant and the IPO/Witnesses.

Today, the Prosecution Counsel who apparently had no case against this lady, wanted to get another adjournment as neither the complainant nor any of the supposed witnesses appeared in court again. The Legal Counsel from FLEMER representing Rosemary wasn’t having any of this today

She instead requested for the magistrate to strike out the case, seeing that the prosecution was obviously not ready to proceed with the case and it will amount to injustice for the young lady to be sent back to jail. The magistrate obliged and went ahead to strike out the case.

Right now, Rosemary is a free woman, but she is still heartbroken as she has lost her life’s savings, has been unjustly incarcerated for owning a Bank Account and has to start all over again.

While we explore legal avenues to help her get justice over her missing funds, Rosemary still needs all the help she can get from the public.

Note: many of the details of this story are missing because the woman in question has some communication delinquency, which makes it difficult for her to communicate except the listener is really patient and understanding. We strongly believe this medical condition must have made it easier for her to be framed and unjustly left to rot in jail. Sigh 😔”

Guardian Life reached out to Flemer Project Initiative but they declined further comment.

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