When people go to court, it is expected that justice must prevail. If the person is guilty, let them be punished and if the person is not guilty, let them be set free. Sadly, there have been several cases of the innocent being punished and the guilty being released.
The painful thing is that a lot of the innocent being punished never get justice and they just serve punishment for what they know nothing about. In fact, some of them die in prison.
Such would have been the case of Joy Ojo if Abounding Grace Ministry, a non-governmental organization did not come to her rescue.
Joy was sentenced to death for the death of her father and despite that she cried profusely and insisted that she knew nothing about it, she was still found guilty.
Joy came from a broken home and lived a major part of her life with her mother and her step-father. She said that her father left her mother when she was a kid and she barely knew her father.
She said her stepfather did his best to bring her up as a child but when she was in secondary school, her friends kept mocking her and called her offensive names. When she couldn’t deal with it again, she began to disturb her mother to take her to her father. After so much persistence, her mother reluctantly granted her request.
To her disappointment, she didn’t get the warm welcome she expected from her father as he kept tormenting her every day that she had to run away to Benin City, to fend for herself.
While she was in Benin, she got a job as a salesgirl in a restaurant. While working at the restaurant, she met a man who promised to marry her and believing him, she moved in with him. Unfortunately for her, after she had given birth to two kids, the man suddenly packed his things and left her.
When he left, Joy was unable to take care of her two children all alone, so, she decided to go back to her father. She begged him for forgiveness but that did not change anything as this time, her father was angry at the fact that she came back with two kids who did not have a father.
Joy said that her father never accepted her and her kids and he insisted that she must bring the man who had gotten her pregnant.
She said the day the sad incident that changed her life happened, she was on her way to church when her father locked the house and gates and began beating her.
In her struggle to escape from him, her father fell and hit his head on a chair, causing him to bleed. Immediately Joy saw this, she ran out of the house to call on neighbours who in turn rushed him to the hospital. He was treated and discharged a few days later.
Joy on the other hand ran back to her mother before her father came from the hospital because she feared that he was going to deal ruthlessly with her when he got back. To her surprise, policemen came to arrest her while she was at her mother’s place. She had no idea what she had done until she got to the police station where they told her that her father was dead and she was the one who killed him.
she spent several months in police detention, after which she was charged to court for the murder of her father. Sadly, despite that she insisted on being innocent, she was found guilty of the murder and was sentenced to death.
After 5 years in prison, Abounding Grace Ministry took interest in her matter and her case was revisited. To her shock and that of everybody, Joy was found innocent and was released from prison. Her reaction was moving as she fell on her knees and started thanking God in tears.
Not every innocent person gets so lucky like Joy, but it is good to see that justice can still prevail in a place like Nigeria. If more non-governmental organizations can also be like Abounding Grace, then we can be sure that Nigeria will get to a point where the innocent would be sure to get justice.