Bauchi CJ Releases 19 Awaiting Trial Inmates Across Custodial Centres
By Bashir Hassan Abubakar
As part of efforts by the Bauchi State Committee on the review of criminal Justice system to revisit cases of persons awaiting trials , State Chief Judge, Justice Rabi Talatu Umar, has released 19 persons awaitng trials across five Correctional Centres in Bauchi , Misau, Katagum, Jama’are and Ningi Local Government Areaas.
Speaking shortly after visiting the five Correctional Centres across the state Justice Rabi Talatu who is the head of the Committee on Criminal Justice in the state, commended judges for the timely disposal of cases, adding that there were very few cases awaiting trial at the centres she visited.
She however decried situations where some cases which are civil in nature are being handled as criminal cases, saying that judges should be fair and just when handling civil cases.
“When you have a case of somebody owing another party and the aggrieved person decides to take the matter to court, instead of the judge to handle the matter in a civil manner, he would detain the debtor in prison. I have always warned judges against doing that, because there is no way for somebody who is indebted to a plaintiff would get the money to pay back while he is in custody.”
“There are always avenues and means by which one can recover such monies from the debtor because the procedure is quite explicit but when you take the person to court, detain him and you want your money back at the same time, it becomes practically impossible.”
“Also, where you have a case where someone is accused of witchcraft, it becomes difficult for a judge to handle such a case because as far as I am concerned, it only takes a witch to identify another witch, so if you are not a witch how can you identify a witch. Sometimes, people can confess that they are witches, but for someone who denies being a witch, how can you establish that in a court of law.
While at the Bauchi remand home, the CJ expressed shock at seeing under-aged children awaiting trial at the facility having committed criminal offences.
She said, “It is disturbing and mind boggling to see such under-aged children at the remand home having committed criminal offences such as armed robbery and kidnapping.
“I was perturbed when I saw these children whose age ranges between 12 and 14 years in custody for offences such as culpable homicide, kidnapping, armed robbery and rape. I am demoralized over this very terrible situation”, Rabi frowned.
“It is because of the gravity of the offences being committed by these`under-aged children that I instructed for further investigations to determine whether they commit such nefarious activities in collaboration with hardened criminals”.
The Bauchi chief judge therefore advised parents and guardians to closely monitor the activities of their wards to forestall being influenced by men of the underworld.
Justice Rabi who released nine awaiting trial inmates at the Bauchi Custodial centre, thereby giving a total of nineteen (19) persons released during the review exercise across the state noted that such nefarious activities of the under-aged portends trouble to the society.