Over 300 Inmates In Kano Correctional Centres Have No Case Files, Officials Say 

The Kano State Police Duty Solicitors Scheme(PDSS) Advisory Committee has confirmed that over 300 awaiting trial Inmates languishing In Kano correctional Centres and Juvenile Houses have no case files or proper documentation of their cases.

The committee is headed by the State Commissioner of Police Usaini Gumel, who uncovered at Kurmawa Correctional Center during its unscheduled visits to Prisons, Police formations, and Juvenile Houses in the State.

Presenting some of the inmates who are awaiting trial for years at Kurmawa Custodial Center, an Officer in the Prison yard, revealed that most of them have no Case Diary or even any criminal records from the Prison.

He said, some have no specific Courts they would be charged to, and their cases have no records in the Prison but have been there for many years.

According to the Officer, other inmates uncovered languishing in the prison without trial, are those who lacked legal representation at the Clcourt and, as such, they don’t go to court, at all.

An inmate, Ibrahim Dala, said he is facing culpable homicide charges, but that since 2009, he had been in prison and that nobody is talking to him or taking him to Court.

Another inmate Yahya Usman, said he was in Court only in 2017 and that since then, nobody has taken him back to Court, adding that right now he doesn’t know his fate.

Speaking to Journalists shortly after the tour, the Commissioner, said the police do not derive joy in detainees staying too long in the cells and correctional facilities, without gaining freedom in the pursuit of justice.

According to him, police are not in support of detentions done without cogent reasons.

“What we are doing right from yesterday (Tuesday) is visitations to some selected police divisions and Correctional Centres. We are also visiting courts.

“We were there, and we met and interacted with the High Court judges. We also interacted with our prosecutors. And we told them our mission. As you know, and as I mentioned to you yesterday, this Advisory Committee is born out of the directive by the Inspector General of Police, to set up a Committee that will advise the police on efficient justice delivery.”

CP Gumel further explained,” We want to ensure that services are extended to all detainees from the point of arrest, detention, as well as, prosecution.”

” We have started this way to tell the citizens that the police in Kano state, and indeed, in Nigeria, is a responsible institution that has high regard for fundamental human rights and efficient justice delivery system.”

“By our interactions with the judges, we came to have a very good understanding that issues of enforcement will be reduced drastically, because at the gate of criminal justice administration which the police are, we are have been doing, and are still doing our best on the line of our duties.”

” Detention must be done with adequate reasons. Those detainees who have sureties who can sign for their bail should not hesitate to apply for bail.

“The police will give them all the needed assistance for them to be granted bail—unless their offenses are not bailable ones,” he said.

He further stated that: “Also, we touched on the aspect of juvenile delinquency. You saw us at the Remand Home in Goron Dutse where we met with the under-aged children who are under detention.

“They were not necessarily arrested or prosecuted by the police. They are there at the instance of other security agencies, including the state Hisbah Board.

” We saw them. We made our observations. As a Committee, we are going to include what we observed in our report; and we will send it to the stakeholders, particularly, the government and the judiciary.

“With what we are doing, we do hope that in the next few weeks, there will be a turnaround on the way and manner justice is delivered in Kano state. Indeed, the Advisory Committee is working to ensure international best practices in our justice delivery system.”

The Commissioner of Police added that the Committee is also working to ensure free legal services to detainees, particularly, those who do not have the resources or privilege to engage legal practitioners.”

Ahmad Sorondinki in Kano.