CJ says capital offence suspects populate prisons in Nasarawa State

imprisonmentThe Chief Judge of Nasarawa State, Justice Suleiman Dikko, has said that prisons s in the state are overcrowded with persons charged with capital offences.

Dikko made the statement on Monday during the 2015 First Lafia Call-Over Appeal Session, pointing out that Lafia Prison, with capacity for 400 inmates, currently had 700 inmates.

He said that 400 of the inmates were persons accused of committing capital offences.

He said that the new Criminal Justice Act empowers courts to grant bail to any awaiting trial inmate who had been in detention for many years.

According to him, such inmates include those accused of capital offences who have been remanded for more than a year.

“I am happy the new Criminal Justice Act, Section 161 says that any suspect that has been in detention for one year and above can be granted bail.

“That is the only way we can decongest the prisons otherwise the prisons will keep on congesting with new inmates everyday.

“I want to call on the counsel representing the affected inmates to file bail applications to the courts to enable the courts consider granting bail to accused persons who have overstayed in remand,“ he added.

Dikko said that whenever he went round prisons formations in the state for routine visits he always discovered that the prisons were congested with persons on remand for capital offences.

He also warned judges of lower courts and other supporting staff to desist from any act of corruption in order to ensure speedy administration of justice.

Earlier, Gabriel Akaaka, the Chairman, Nigeria Bar Association, Lafia Branch, commended the chief judge for contributing to the reduction in the number of appeal cases in the state.

He also called for the appointment of more High Court judges to ensure the speedy dispensation of justice.

Abigail Waya, the state Solicitor-General and Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Justice, said that the government had already agreed to build more court rooms across the state.

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  • John650

    Build more prisons to house criminals. Letting a murderer out on bail to walk the streets is an insult to the victims.

  • marc umeh

    Is this chief justice serious.? How can anyone talk of releasing such people back to
    the streets because they spent 1 year in detention.
    Capital offence is as bad as it gets in human misconduct. Expedite their trial and if guilty
    then punish them according to law. Capital
    offence should attract capital punishment.w