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Chief Judge rejects requests to pardon murder, kidnap suspects

Premium Times Nigeria 2024/4/12

The CJ, who was accompanied by senior magistrates and other principal officials of the state Ministry of Justice, reviewed a total of 61 cases bordering on murder, kidnap, and armed robbery among others.

Chief Judge of Niger State, Halima Abdulmalik,
Chief Judge of Niger State, Halima Abdulmalik,

The Chief Judge of Niger State, Halima Abdulmalik, on Tuesday, declined the requests for pardon by some inmates incarcerated for violent crimes at the Suleja Medium Custodial Centre.

Mrs Abdulmalik declined the inmates’ request during a visit to the centre in the exercise of her statutory duty of prerogative of mercy.

The chief judge, who was accompanied by senior magistrates and other principal officials of the state’s Ministry of Justice, reviewed a total of 61 cases bordering on murder, kidnap, and armed robbery among others.

But four inmates at the detention facility were granted bail while one regained his freedom, a statement from the spokesperson for the Nigerian Correctional Service, FCT Command, Adamu Duza, said on Tuesday.

The released inmate, Abubakar Umar, expressed gratitude to the authorities for his freedom.

Mr Duza did not provide details of the alleged offences committed by the inmates who were granted bail.

The event was conducted by the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Controller of Corrections, Francis John, who represented the Controller-General of the Nigerian Correctional Service, Haliru Nababa.

The statement quoted the CJ as saying that custodial centre visits are statutory to ensure that justice is served.

Mrs Abdulmalik pledged to ensure that judges embrace the non-custodial service measures in the state as well as ensuring speedy access to justice.

She advised the released inmates to stay off crime.

The CJ lauded the Nigerian Correctional Service for their support in providing security and ensuring adequate coordination of the inmates in the custodial centres during the exercise.

Prisons controller advocates non-custodial measure

Mr John commended Mrs Abdulmalik for her timely intervention in reviewing inmates’ status at the facility.

He urged magistrates and judges in the state to adopt non-custodial sentencing.

He said such a measure would reduce the number of inmates going into the custodial centres, many of whom are being tried or convicted for minor offences.

Mr John also admonished the released inmates to be of good behaviour, adding that they ensure they are gainfully engaged with a choice trade, to avoid reoffending.

READ ALSO: Gunmen kidnap nine students in Delta

Many inmates in Nigerian prisons are awaiting trial, prompting the need to decongest the prisons.

Last December, PREMIUM TIMES reported that Nigeria has over 50,000 prison inmates awaiting trial.

The Nigerian Correctional Service said no fewer than 53,836 inmates in the 253 correctional centres nationwide were awaiting trial as of 18 December.

 
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