Nasarawa Gov. to grant amnesty to 100 prison inmates in Lafia Correctional Center
From Umar Muhammed, Lafia
Justice Aisha Barshru-Aliyu, the Chief Judge of Nasarawa State, has revealed that plans are under way to grant amnesty to over 100 prison inmates who have spent over 10 years in custody without hope of prosecution or trial in Lafia correctional center.
The Chief Judge of the state disclosed this at the end of two day workshop for Judges and lawyers across the 13 local government areas of the state on Tuesday in Lafia, the state capital.
Speaking on the theme: “Effective Administration of Criminal Justice in the ” New Normal”, she said that she has drafted a memo to governor Abdullahi Sule to look at it and grant them amnesty.
Daily Trust reports that the training was organized by the Attorney General Alliance Africa (AGA-Africa) in collaboration with the Nasarawa state, Ministry of Justice to acquaint judges and lawyers on criminal justice.
Her words: “We are not saying that they are not guilty, but we cannot prove their offences against them as there is no point of keeping them in clusters with the presence of COVID-19 effect.”
According to her, all the convicted inmates 700 inmates were situated in Lafia, saying that it is a security threat to the state this would go a long way in averting jail break in the state.
She opined that since they don’t need them in court anymore and they have been convicted and sentenced it is better the move them to a far away correctional center.
“Ten years in prison without hope of prosecution or trial isn’t better. Let them go and sin no more, so we are working towards that.
We have over 100 such defending cases in the state without hope of prosecution or trial it is better we allow them go,” she added.
She said Nasarawa state is one of the first in the north central region to constitute it administration of criminals justice monitory committee.
She stated that Nasarawa state is one of the first states in the North central region to constitute its Administration of Criminal Justice Monitoring Committee.
According to her, since inauguration, they have been able to decongest correctional facilities in the state, disclosing that during her last jail delivery about 48 inmates were released,.
She added that it is the highest number during any single jail delivery since the creation of the state in 1996.
“Also in line with the provision of the Administration of Criminal Justice Law, we are working on the designation of Magistrates to cover visitation to detention centers.
We are hoping will be monitored and reduce to the barest minimum,” she added.
Earlier, the state Attorney General and Commissioner of justice, Dr. Abdulkarim Kana, said the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic and the challenges that came with it as well as the reality of the judiciary staff strike were a major set back to the certain implementation of the adminstration and criminal justice law in the state.
Kana, who represented governor Abdullahi Sule and who double as a board member of Attorney General Alliance Africa, said following the rising cases of crimes, there was need to establish more courts, noting that this would go a long way in reducing the work load on judges and it would enable them to work effectively and avert any delay of justice in the state.
He, however, revealed that at the moment the state ministry of justice is handling over 200 criminals and civil cases that are spread across 153 courts in the state.