State Chief Judge pardons 22 inmates

22 inmates have regained their freedom by the order of the Chief Judge of Nasarawa State, Justice Suleiman Dikko.

18 Christians sentenced to jail.

Dikko disclosed this at a news conference on Thursday in Nasarawa Prison at the end of his four-day tour of prisons formations across the state.

He said that out of the 22 inmates released, 14 were from Lafia prison, 17 in Keffi prison while one was in Nasarawa prison.

The chief judge explained that the gesture was part of efforts to decongest the prisons and ensure justice to inmates who were wrongly detained.

Dikko attributed the delay in prosecuting cases to inadequate police prosecutors and counsels from the state ministry of justice.

He said with the crime rate in the state, particularly in Mararaba-area, only two police counsels and about 24 from the ministry of justice were inadequate to prosecute cases.

“The police and the state ministry of justice needs to get more hands by employing more counsels in order to effectively prosecute the rising number of cases in the state,” he added.

He urged the police, prisons authority and other stakeholders to rise up to their responsibilities to ensure speedy administration of justice in the state.

Dikko assigned counsels from the Legal Aid Council of Nigeria to inmates awaiting trial who lacked money to engage the services of a counsel.

He advised those pardoned to exhibit good character and avoid committing any crime that would bring them back to the prison.

Earlier, Mr Ekwere Ekanem, Nasarawa State Controller of Prisons, said that Lafia, Keffi and Wamba prisons were over-stretched.

He added that all the prisons in the state have problems of shortage of vehicles, congestion, lack of portable drinking water among others.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that officials of the National Human Right Commission, Legal Aid Council of Nigeria, lawyers and judges accompanied the chief judge on the visit.

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