During the week, Chief Judge of Sokoto State, Justice Bello Abbas, granted pardon to 43 inmates awaiting trial in the state Central Prison. He pardoned the inmates when he visited the prison to look at the condition of inmates who had spent several years while awaiting trial.
The chief judge said that the gesture was aimed at decongesting the prison and ensuring that suspects didn’t stay much longer than necessary while awaiting trial.
According to him, ‘our aim is to see to the welfare of the inmates and ensure that no one stays longer than necessary while awaiting trial before the various courts in the state. As such, the assignment we are embarking on is to ensure a speedy clearance of all awaiting trial inmates, while those who have overstayed are discharged. This is in order to maintain the law as well as decongest the prisons’.
Abbas also promised that all the remaining awaiting trial inmates would soon be tried after liaising with all the courts and other related agencies. He further promised to continue such exercise from time to time in order to ensure sanity in the conduct of justice and control the number of inmates in the prison.
On February 8, 2017, he made a similar gesture when he granted pardon to 28 awaiting trial inmates.