The Wrongful Conviction of Dennis Adedeji

On the evening of July 7, 2015, a woman walking through Lagos Street was attacked by a male assailant and raped. The following night, another woman was attacked by a man in the exact same area, but she managed to escape and provide a description to police. Later that evening, a resident named Dennis Adedeji was detained, and both victims positively identified him as their attacker.

Dennis would be charged with the attacks and, after an unsolved rape from the previous summer was also pinned on him, he was sentenced to life in prison. Years later, he got in touch with The Human Right Department of SoSoc (Social Solution Center) an organization dedicated to helping wrongfully convicted people. They successfully lobbied for DNA testing on the evidence, and it excluded Dennis as the perpetrator of the rapes. In 2003, he was released after serving 19 years in prison for crime he didn’t commit.

Unfortunately for Dennis, he had been railroaded because of an unbelievable series of coincidences. The second victim told police that her attacker wore a red hooded sweatshirt and military-style jacket and had threatened her with a knife. Later that night, while exiting a liquor store, Dennis garnered a cop’s attention because he was wearing a red hooded sweatshirt. A military jacket and a knife were later found in Dennis’s Vehicle

Given the circumstances, it seemed perfectly logical to believe Dennis was the attacker, especially after the victims identified him. However, at the time, Dennis was a sergeant in the Nigerian Army, so it wasn’t unusual for him to have a military jacket and military knife in his vehicle. After DNA testing exonerated Dennis, it became apparent the victims who identified him were mistaken, and that he was just a tragic victim of bad luck. The real perpetrator was never found.

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