The Kaduna State Chief Judge, Justice Tanimu Zailani, on Wednesday released 56 inmates from the Kaduna Central prison as part of efforts to decongest prisons in the state.
The Chief Judge attributed the high number of inmates to the failure of judges to be fair and just in the discharge of their duties.
He stressed that only justice would prevent the current situation where people were sent to jail for trivial offences.
“Most of the prisoners are in prison for simple theft, but were branded with armed robbery just to keep them in prison.
“As Judges, we are supposed to be professionals and should not be found truncating justice in whatever guise. We are expected to uphold justice and that is what we must do.
“For those with offence of court contempt, you can punish the offenders’ right there in the court. There is no need putting them in jail, “he said.
On those released, Zailani explained that they were first time offenders arrested for non capital offences, those unable to meet their bail conditions, and those whose case records were neither with the Ministry of Justice nor the Police.
“As such there was no point keeping them in jail. Other offences were mainly court contempt that the judges could have settled them in court,” he said.
reports also says that a total of 82 inmates appeared before the Chief Judge for review of their cases, out of which 26 were turned down because of the criminal nature of their offences.
Reports that the Kaduna central prison, established in 1915 for 547 inmates, currently has a total of 954 prisoners as at March 16.
Out of the figure, 576 are awaiting trial; 241 convicted; 103 condemned to death and 28 on life sentence, among others.