Kuje await­ing trial in­mates seek speedy ar­raign­ment

Daily Trust - - NEWS - By Mau­reen Onochie

Over 500 out of the 760 in­mates in re­mand cus­tody at the Kuje pris­ons, Abuja have sought for speedy trial for them to know their fate.

Ad­dress­ing a team from the Na­tional Hu­man Rights Com­mis­sion (NHRC) who vis­ited the prison, Dr. Sani Shuaibu, an in­mate speak­ing on be­half of oth­ers, said most of the in­mates had spent over 10 years’ in­car­cer­a­tion yet they have not been tried.

Dr. Shuaibu said he had ful­filled all his bail con­di­tions but that he was yet to be re­leased and was still wait­ing for trial.

While com­mend­ing the Pris­ons man­age­ment, he said their rights have not been abused as they have been pro­vided with ba­sic fa­cil­i­ties such as wa­ter, med­i­cal treat­ment, food amongst oth­ers.

Comp­trol­ler Gen­eral of the Federal Cap­i­tal Ter­ri­tory com­mand of the Nigeria Pris­ons Ser­vice Yusuf Kasali, who rep­re­sented the Comp­trol­ler Gen­eral of Prison, Zakari Ibrahim, also con­firmed that the trial process was in­deed slow.

He called for the speedy trial of the in­mates and con­victed or freed where nec­es­sary.

An­other in­mate who has been con­victed Mr. Sankara Ofem al­leged that some lawyers have come to the prison and col­lected money from in­mates promis­ing to help them process their cases but they failed to ful­fill their prom­ises.

He ap­pealed


the com­mis­sion to buy in­dus­trial sewing ma­chine for in­mates to en­able him train other in­mates sewing skills to em­power them and get them oc­cu­pied.

Ex­ec­u­tive Sec­re­tary of the hu­man rights com­mis­sion Prof. Bem Angwe lamented that over 80 per­cent of in­mates were still await­ing trial. He promised to in­vite mem­bers of the Nige­rian Bar As­so­ci­a­tion to at­tend to most of the cases await­ing trial.

He said the aim of the au­dit was to en­sure that pris­on­ers were still ac­corded their hu­man rights even while in prison.

Angwe said the com­mis­sion would be­gin to act adding that the in­mates will get their in­dus­trial sewing ma­chine as soon as pos­si­ble.

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