How A University Graduate Was Arrested By Police And Jailed After Watching Football 

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…Lady also jailed for fighting her sister

BY ADEYEMI AKANJI, BAUCHI – For the graduate of Micro-Biology from the University of Jos, Daniel Isaac, the final of the AFCON football match between his own country, Nigeria and Ivory Coast in February 2024 would remain indelible in his psychic as he could not believe his arrest, prosecution and eventual jail all within 24hours.

According to Daniel, his arrest by the police while walking back home after watching the AFCON finals remains a mystery to him but, worse of it was his sentence by the Court which was unbelievable.

A devastated Daniel Isaac narrated how he was arbitrarily arrested and charged to Court by the police in Bauchi for no offence and jailed for 12 months with an option of N10,000 fine just for going to watch football match and while he was on his way home, he was pounced on by the police patrol team and arrested just like that.

Daniel Isaac, a resident of Yelwa Area of Bauchi metropolis was one of the 21 inmates of the Bauchi Correctional Centre whose fines were paid by a coalition of Rotary Club of Bauchi Central, Heart That Truly Cares (HTTC), Alwadata Lifeline Initiative (ALLI) and Attain Sisters Helping Hand (ASHH) Foundation which led to their freedom.

Before Rotary Club and some Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) brought succour his way, Daniel Isaac had already spent one month out of the one year jail sentence at the Bauchi State Correctional Centre since he was unable to raise and pay the N10000 fine as option which even poor family and friends could not afford.

Daniel Isaac told journalists shortly after his release that he was arrested by the Police patrol team at about 10.40pm after watching the AFCON final between Nigeria and Ivory Coast last February, saying that he was picked up behind the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa Stadium in Bauchi when he left the football viewing center at Bayan Gari, an area known as a dark spot in the metropolis.

He said that the following day, the Police charged him to court without being allowed access to members of his family and or a lawyer and was instantly sentenced to a one-year prison term or fine of N10,000.

In the words of Daniel Isaac; “The day Nigeria played AFCON final match, I came from Yelwa to visit my friend in the area and I decided to go to the viewing centre to watch the match.

“After the match, I was heading home while waiting to get a ride to Yelwa and suddenly, some policemen drove in a Hilux van, stopped in my front and arrested me around Jubilee Hotel and said that it was late night at 10.40pm.

“They stopped and packed me and some other people to their Area Command. I was like how do we finish this and they said that we would be charged to court.

“They said we were arrested at a black spot. From the court they brought me to prison. The court ruled that I should pay a fine of N10,000 or one year term.

“I have spent 25 days in jail. My mom has been working hard to get the money. She promised to pay the money as soon as she gets her salary before the NGOs came to intervene,” he narrated his sad experience.

Daniel however, said that he has learned a lot of lessons while serving in the Correctional Centre and vowed never to get involved in anything that will take him back to the prison again.

Similarly, 22 year old lady by name Ladidi, who was jailed for fighting with her relation in Dabe village and was taken to Court for public disturbance and causing hurt, was fined N3000 which she could not pay untill she was set free courtesy of Rotary Club and the NGOs initiative.

Ladidi had spent three nights at the Correctional Centre before luck shone on her as the NGOs and Rotary Club found her sombre and repentant of the development and decided to include her in the payment for freedom.

Ladidi told journalists that she got entangled in a family disagreement but was surprised that it led her to the Correctional Centre from the court.

Ladidi, who was still nursing a red swollen eyes from the fight said; “I have learnt a great lesson. From now on, I will mind my business. I will never interfere again. The few days I have spent here, I don’t pray to come back here for any reason whatsoever”.

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