- A former national publicity secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Olisa Metuh, on Thursday, November 25, visited the Suleja correctional facility
- Olisa Metuh was at the Suleja correctional facility alongside his wife, Kanayo, on an advocacy visit
- During the visit, Kanayo called for decongestion of Nigeria's correctional facilities and speedy court processes for inmates awaiting trial
More frantic calls have been made to the federal government to ensure accelerated court processes for inmates languishing in various correctional facilities across Nigeria.
The call was made during a visit to the Suleja correctional facility by the former national publicity secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Olisa Metuh, alongside his wife, Kanayo on Thursday, November 25.
Speaking at the facility, Kanayo who is the executive director of Legend Golden Care Foundation said the visit is one of the activities on the foundation's "Beyond the Walls" initiative.
Kanayo presenting gifts, toiletries and some basic items to the inmates urged the federal government to formulate strategies that would expedite trials of inmates especially those who have been on awaiting trial for years.
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Speedy court processes for inmates awaiting trial
Decrying the long period of years spent in correctional facilities by inmates on awaiting Kanayo said the provisions of the 1999 Constitution as amended, maintain that an accused is innocent until proven guilty.
“I want to call on the government to accelerate the court processes so that cases would move faster."
"We need to remove whatever bottlenecks that exist in the system that forces someone who is awaiting trial to be locked up for five to seven years."
Kanayo also disclosed that one of the positive outcomes of her husband’s travails during his unjust incarceration was the awareness of the challenges being faced by Nigerians in the correctional facilities.
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She said such awareness led to the birthing of the Beyond the Wall initiative, which is principally focused on supporting those that are or were incarcerated.
Foundation provides legal support for inmates
She added that the foundation provides free legal support to the inmates who are unable to afford legal representation in their quest to seek justice.
“We are here today to present some of the need items of the inmates. We are here with a few things and to also find out other things we can do to ease their sufferings."
"We understand that when people commit crimes, there have to be punitive measures but there should also be a form of rehabilitation so that they will leave here as better persons."
“Government is doing a lot in this direction, but even with the best intentions the government cannot do it alone."
She also called on non-governmental organisations and good-spirited Nigerians to rise to the occasion and help the inmates.
A call to end the stigmatisation of incarcerated inmates
Kanayo pleaded with Nigerians to desist from stigmatizing people who had been incarcerated.
According to her, the dangers of stigmatization of these groups of persons can worsen their ordeals.
Speaking at the event, the Assistant Controller in charge of Suleja Custodial Centre, Ali Ali, commended the foundation for the initiative.
Ali urged other NGOs and individuals to join in helping inmates have the lives they hoped for.
Nigerian woman regains freedom after spending 10 years in prison without trial
Meanwhile, Legit.ng previously reported that a 38-year-old woman, Titilayo Benson, has been released from Kirikiri prison where she spent 10 years of life without trial.
The woman landed in prison for sending her friend and housemate with whom she fought to an early grave.
A judge at the Lagos state high court, Oluwatoyin Taiwo, released her after a plea bargain between the state government and the defendant.
Nigerian students sent to prison without an option of fine
The presiding judge, Justice Umar Fadawu, held that there was sufficient evidence proving that the students committed the offence.
The students were accused of conspiracy and management/membership of an unlawful society.