FCT Chief Judge, Justice Ishaq Bello

FCT Chief Judge, Justice Ishaq Bello, on Thursday freed 24 inmates on health and age grounds from the Kuje Prisons.

The chief judge discharged the inmates during his visit to the prisons.

Bello said there was a panel of Judges set to look into some cases of the inmates in order to accelerate hearing of their cases.

He urged some of the judges to grant bail to robbery cases.

“Where bail is granted and could not be perfected then we look at the terms if they are that harsh and not attainable then we direct a review,” he said.

The CJ further urged the prison officials to enable inmates awaiting trial contact their relations when the need arose.

He ordered the prison officials to make available the authentic medical records of inmates to accelerate onward delivery of justice.

Bello equally urged the Legal Aid Council and other Non-Governmental Organisations represented to pay the fine of some of the inmates who could not afford to pay their fine.

He appealed to the Legal Aid Council to give legal representation to inmates who cannot afford a lawyer.

He said the two non-Nigerian citizens that were discharged, hailed from Chad and Niger republic, and would need to be assisted by the Nigeria Immigration Service to get to their respective embassies.

“We could not release them like that because one is mentally retarded and the other is critically ill,” Bello said.

Earlier the Deputy Controller, Kuje Prisons, Mr. Innocent Onoja, said there were 914 inmates and 724 awaiting trial at the prison.

He said there were inmates awaiting trials for 12 to 13 years in the prison and urged the CJ to grant the expectations of the inmates and to consider inmates that were critically ill and were 60 years and above.

Amongst the discharged inmates on age grounds was Alhaji Abubakar Bello, a retired police officer, who has been sentenced to life imprisonment for culpable homicide.

He told newsmen that he had been in detention since 1999.

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