Desmond Mgboh, Kano
Acting Chief Judge of Kano State, Justice Nura Sagir, has lamented the absence of adequate infrastructure for detention of thousands of awaiting trial inmates in prison custody in the state.
The acting Chief Judge, while speaking at a one-day Justice Reforms and Human Rights Summit, organised by CURE Nigeria, on Wednesday, also decried the funding challenges recorded in the upkeep of detained inmates in the state.
He disclosed that a total of 1,811 awaiting trial inmates are currently detained at Kurmawa Central prison, adding that another set of 918 inmates are held at Goron Dutse prison facility.
He frowned at the fact that monies budgeted to fund activities in the justice sector are not released on time while lamenting that magistrates assigned to rural areas in the state reside and operate from their rented apartments.
Represented by Justice Nasiru Saminu, during the summit held at the Kano NBA secretariat, he blamed inadequate training of judicial staff and lack of ICT facilities for the crowding of prison facilities in the state.
He expressed optimism that the anticipated passage of the Administrative Criminal Justice Act, ACJA by the Kano State House of Assembly would lead to the decongestion of prison facilities in the state, noting that domestication of the ACJA would invariably discharge the law of holding charge which all along constituted an obstacle to decongestion.
The Comptroller, Nigeria Prison Service, NPS, Kano, Alhaji Magaji Ahmed Abdullahi admitted that the two major prison facilities in Kurmawa and Goron Dutse in the state capital are overcrowded.
He disclosed that the two prison facilities, constructed 100 years ago, are now obsolete, while pointing out that over 65 percent of the awaiting trial prison inmates lack to a lawyer.
Executive Director of CURE Nigeria, Mr. Sylvester T. Uhaa, appealed to Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje of the state, to erect a justice defense system that will further aid access to justice in the state.
He appealed to the government to intervene on the issue of juveniles and women in prison custody, stressing the use of alternative punishments would assist in decongesting the overcrowded prison facilities in the state.