Lafia - The Chief Judge of Nasarawa State, Justice Suleiman Dikko, on Tuesday released 12 prison inmates serving various jail terms or awaiting trial in the state.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Dikko freed the inmates when he visited all the prisons in the state.
A breakdown of those released showed two persons had been convicted, while the remaining 10 had been in remand for more than three years.
``The 10 inmates have spent over three years awaiting trial for minor offences,” the chief judge said.
He noted that some of the prison inmates were awaiting trial for ``offences which are either bailable or attract not more than one year in jail.
Dikko said that it was wrong to have kept them for the period, attributing the high number of those awaiting trial to delays from the office of the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP).
``This is based on the failure to give advice on time,’’ the chief judge adding
He, however, warned those released not to go back to their bad ways, saying such an act would make them come back to prison again.
Earlier, Solomon Tukura, the Controller of Lafia Prison, thanked the chief judge and his team for the visit.
``It is also a thing of concern to us the way inmates are staying for too long awaiting trial,’’ he said.
NAN reports that members of the Human Rights Commission in the state, officials of the Legal Aid Council of Nigeria and lawyers accompanied the chief judge.