Don’t Adjourn Criminal Cases Beyond Weeks, Kogi CJ Orders Courts

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The Chief Judge of Kogi State, Justice Nasir Ajanah, on Monday ordered courts in the state not to adjourn criminal cases beyond two weeks.

Ajanah gave the directive on Monday after reviewing warrants of Awaiting Trial inmates at the Dekina Prisons.

The Chief Judge said it was no longer acceptable for courts to grant long adjournments of cases due to its effect on prison congestion.

He said the directive was part of measures to speed up dispensation of justice and decongest prisons by ensuring that only deserving suspects were kept in prison custody.

He said as part of his prison decongestion efforts, the state judiciary had embarked on accelerated hearing of cases.

The CJ said a two-week assizes would soon be organised in the state to determine the fate of pending cases.

Ajanah, who reviewed warrants of 27 Awaiting Trial inmates at the prison, granted bail to five of the inmates with N20,000 in like sum.

He said each surety must be resident within the jurisdiction of the court.

Ajanah expressed regret over the fact that he could not release any of the inmates unconditionally as a result of the serious nature of their alleged offences.

He said the offences ranged from culpable homicide to armed robbery, rape, kidnapping and theft.

He, however, commended the prison authorities for keeping the Dekina Prisons, established in 1927, neat and in good condition.

Ajanah also commended security agencies in the area for ensuring that the crime rate was kept very low as the 34-inmate capacity prison currently has 27 Awaiting Trial inmates and 11 convicts.

Speaking earlier, the Assistant Comptroller of Prisons in charge of the facility, Emmanuel Omale, said the prison lacked potable water as it relies only on the neighbouring river for its water needs.

Male said: “My Lord, the only source of water we have here is the stream, but once there is rain, the water completely changes colour, being filled with sand and debris, making it unsafe for use.”

Omale thanked the Chief Judge for the visit and implored him to prevail on the government to sink a borehole in the facility.

– NAN.

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