27 suspects awaiting trial freed by Bauchi chief judge

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By Agencies

No fewer than 27 suspects awaiting trial in Bauchi Custodial Centre and other Correctional Service Centers across the state have regained their freedom.

The Bauchi State Chief Judge, Justice Rabi Talatu Umar, who set free the inmates, urged them to be of good conduct and exhibit exemplary beheviour in the society.

The Bauchi government had in its bid to decongest prisons in the state, set up a committee headed by Justice Rabi Umar to undertake a routine quarterly visit to Correctional Service centers and review cases of awaiting trial inmates, who have spent three and above years without trial.

Comprising representatives of the State Custodial Centre, Department of State Services and the Nigerian Bar Association, among others, the committee had during its first quarter outing, released 29 awaiting trial inmates across the correctional centers of the state.

Releasing 21 out of the 27 awaiting trial inmates, most of whom have spent five to six years without trial at the Bauchi Custodial centre, Justice Rabi, asked the freed inmates to seek forgiveness from their respective family members for committing such acts.

She also urged the younger ones among them, to seek knowledge from schools or any other learning centers with a view to becoming useful members of the society.

“See the regaining of your freedom as an act of God, not because of any influence or your position in the society before. You should also not brag-up for the freedom you regained, as doing so will be an act of disobedience or ungratefulness to God” She said.

The Chief Judge said that the exercise is a continuous one as the Law has given her the powers to look into where people are unnecessarily remanded without trial.

Speaking on behalf of the freed inmates, Inuwa Hamza Wanzam thanked God and the committee for the gesture. According to him, their release has marked the end of their stay in the correctional service walls.

Six awaiting trial inmates released include four in Azare and one each in Misau and Jama’are correctional centers thus, bringing the number of inmates who regained the freedom to 27.

In Katagum emirate where there are two centers, Zaki and Azare, the Committee took-out time to visit the Katagum palace where the emir, Umar Farouk Umar assured of his Council’s support and cooperation to enable the Committee succeed in its assigned responsibility.

The Emir described the Judiciary, as the last hope of the common man, where every Law abiding citizen must have confidence in.

He, however, expressed dissatisfaction on some unnecessary detentions done by some Judges, saying people should be given their rights and warned those Judges, who unnecessarily detain citizens that the prayers of such detainees are easily accepted by God.

Umar Farouk also expressed the fear that if people continue to lose confidence in the judiciary, there is every possibility that people will start taking laws into their hands.