THE first thing Mohammed Mustafa Hakim did when he reached home in Labasa on Friday evening was have a home cooked meal.
Mr Hakim, 48, spent the past 23 months of his life in remand in Suva for alleged rape, an allegation thrown out by the High Court in Suva after the assessors and the judge found the Seaqaqa man not guilty.
Mr Hakim was all smiles on Friday after being acquitted and he spent the afternoon strolling around the court reminiscing about the past two years of his life.
"I had maintained my innocence from day one. It has been tough for me," he said.
"I was put in remand and then the lawyer I paid $8000 didn't show and let me rot in the remand centre."
Mr Hakim said he paid two more lawyers "but they too took the money and never came to my aid".
"I am a free man now and I thank the Lord for this.
"I also know that all those who were bad to me during the time I was incarcerated will have to answer to the Lord."
Mr Hakim added that life in remand was not easy, where he also witnessed abuse.
He has vowed not to return before the courts and use his time to get his life back on track.