Centre for Justice Mercy and Reconciliation

Centre for Justice

Triumph Over Injustice: Two Brothers and Their Fight for Freedom

Triumph Over Injustice: Two Brothers and Their Fight for Freedom


In a poignant tale of perseverance and resilience, two blood brothers, Leke Ajayi and Segun Ajayi, emerged victorious on December 16, 2021, after three years of battling unlawful detention and police brutality. Celebrations echoed through the Ijebu Ode High Court premises as these brothers, alongside three other suspects, were granted freedom from the confines of Igbeba Non-Custodial Centre.

The ordeal began on July 15, 2018, when all five individuals, including Wasiu Ogunlana, Gabriel Oriola, and Adeboye Opeyemi, found themselves remanded at Igbeba Non-Custodial Centre on charges of armed robbery—allegations made without the crucial step of an identification parade. This injustice, marked by arbitrary arrests and subsequent detention, contributes significantly to the congestion of non-custodial centers across Nigeria.

Research conducted by the Centre for Justice, Mercy, and Reconciliation (CJMR) sheds light on the systemic issues surrounding arrests for capital offenses. In the case of these brothers, the CJMR, through casework intervention, uncovered the stories behind their unjust arrests.

Wasiu Ogunlana, the first accused, narrated his arrest on February 5, 2018, at Ijebu Mushin by vigilantes while en route to Lagos. Gabriel Oriola, the second accused, detailed his arrest on March 21, 2018, at Oke Owa, Ijebu Ode, along with two individuals he claimed not to know. A disagreement over bail demands and an argument with the police led to a framed-up case.

Leke Ajayi, the third accused, shared his arrest on May 15, 2018, by the Federal SARS Ogun State in front of his father’s house. Adeboye Opeyemi, the fourth accused, a trailer driver, was arrested on May 19, 2018, at his residence in Ijebu Ode.

Segun Ajayi, the fifth accused, was arrested on May 21, 2018, after his father sought his help to locate his detained brother, Leke. Expressing frustration over the police’s extortion, Segun’s candid remark led to his arrest and subsequent detention.

The CJMR’s intervention, fueled by the untimely death of the brothers’ mother due to the harsh treatment meted out to her sons, proved pivotal. Lawyers Yemi Adeshina Esq. of GRAYSTONE CHAMBERS, Lagos, and Ayodeji Kehinde Shofola of EWENLA CHAMBERS, Ijebu Ode, collaborated to file a Motion for Speedy Trial, ultimately leading to the brothers’ release after three years of imprisonment.

This success story shines a spotlight on the larger systemic issues within the Nigerian Criminal Justice System. Pastor Hezekiah Deboboye Olujobi, the Executive Director of CJMR, strongly advocates for a shift in focus towards the presumed innocent detainees awaiting trial. Speedy trials and increased access to justice can be pivotal steps in reforming the system.

As we celebrate these brothers’ newfound freedom, their journey prompts reflection on the broader challenges within the Nigerian Criminal Justice System and encourages us to collectively strive for positive change.

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Centre for Justice Mercy and Reconciliation