No fewer than 7 prison inmates have been granted unconditional release, while 11 others were released on bail by the Kogi State Chief Judge, Justice Nasiru Ajanah as part of efforts to decongest Nigeria Prisons.
The lucky inmates who breathed the air of freedom have been incarcerated for over five months and are facing criminal trials at the various courts in the state, but had their cases reviewed by the State Chief Judge during this year’s annual prison visit to decongest Koton- Karfe Federal prison in Kogi state yesterday.
In a related development, another set of 11 Prison inmates were also granted conditional bail with costs ranging from N5,000, N10,000and N25,000 with sureties pending the outcome of investigation of their culpability of various offences charged against then after case files were reviewed.
In some cases, it was learnt that the facts are not corresponding with the First Information Report FIR or the Charge sheet brought before the courts, thereby creating a lot of confusion and stalling the smooth trials for over five or six months without taking accused persons to Court.
While reviewing 105 case files of inmates, Justice Ajanah explained that presumption of innocence of an accused person must always be taken into consideration in administration of criminal justice until contrary is proven, adding that accused person should not be detained more than necessary as investigations must be completed before accused persons are charged to courts.
The Chief Judge stated that Prison visit is not just a visit to decongest alone , stressing that it is aimed at looking at the condition and the welfare of the inmates there.