The Chief Judge of Nasarawa State, Justice Aisha Bashir, has granted pardon to 47 inmates of federal prisons in Lafia, Keffi, and Nasarawa, awaiting trial.
Bashir, who is the first woman Chief Judge in the state, made this known on Thursday in Wamba Local Government Area (LGA) after a tour of custodian centres which was the first since she assumed office in December 2020.
Recall that some unknown gunmen stormed Mbieri Divisional Police Headquarters in Mbaitoli Local Government Area of Imo state around 1 a.m. on Thursday and released suspects who had been detained in the facility.
Bashir was appointed on Dec. 31, 2020 after the retirement of Justice Sulieman Dikko, former CJ from service.
”The visit is in compliance with the presidential directive to decongest custodian facilities as part of measure to contain further spread of COVID-19,” she said.
She said that 30 inmates were released in the Lafia Custodian Centre, six in Nasarawa Custodian Centre, eight in Keffi Custodian Centre and three in Wamba Custodian Centre.
”Under my watch, the judiciary in the state would work towards ensuring speedy administration of justice as well as tackle the menace of justice stagnation.
”The Criminal Justice Committee in the state would soon come up with modalities to ensure that those whose cases are stagnated for so many years without progress get their cases concluded and justice delivered.
“I have also asked that names of inmates that had stayed for five years and above be compiled for onward submission to the Executive Governor of the state for pardon.
“We recommend to the governor to grant them pardon as part of efforts to ensure justice is served as well as decongest custodian facilities,” the CJ added.
She also commended the authorities of the Custodian Centres for teaching the inmates various skills and enrolling those interested in education at the Open University.
Justice Bashir said such steps taken by the authorities would truly rehabilitate the inmates and make them useful after serving their jail term.
The CJ also advised those released to work hard to convince society that are changed persons and make society trust them again and assimilate them.
The CJ was accompanied on the visit by judges, Legal Aid Council of Nigeria, National Human Rights Commission, among others. (NAN).