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Falana hails Kaduna governor over ‘historic’ release of 110 convicts, other detainees

PROMINENT legal expert and senior advocate, Femi Falana, has commended Kaduna State Governor Uba Sani for releasing 110 convicts and other detainees from Correctional Centre in the state. 

Falana described this ‘historic’ release as one of the most significant initiatives to commemorate the 2024 Democracy Day.

The senior lawyer noted that the release of the convicts and detainees demonstrated a commitment to justice and rehabilitation, aligning with the principles of democracy and human rights.

He emphasised the importance of such actions in promoting social justice and reducing overcrowded correctional facilities.

“I am particularly delighted to note that the governor has paid the fines of N10,000 imposed on some of the convicts who have been languishing in custody for years due to impecuniosity.

“I appreciate the significance of the release of the convicts and detainees because I was detained in several detention facilities, including correctional centres under the defunct military junta.

“Whenever I was released from incarceration, I was always sure that I would go back.  Indeed,  I went back many times. Apart from regular detention, I was charged with various criminal offences, including treasonable felony but I was never convicted,” the fiery lawyer stated.

According to Falana, he was not arrested or detained for committing any criminal offence whatsoever but for joining other patriots to fight against military rule in Nigeria.

He added that Sani and former senator who represented Kaduna Central, Shehu Sani, were subjected to intimidation and harassment on account of their involvement in the struggle for the restoration of democracy in the country.

Falana said since democracy was restored 25 years ago, he had never been detained by any security agency.

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He urged that to ensure that other citizens are not arrested and detained without a legal basis, the human rights community has ensure that illegal arrest and detention are prohibited in Nigeria.

Falana stated that the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, which has been adopted in all states of the Federation, has codified the basic rights of citizens, including criminal suspects.

He said that he was happy that the chief magistrates in Kaduna State conducted monthly visits to all police stations in their districts in accordance with the Administration of Criminal Justice Law of Kaduna State.

“Permit me to call on judges and leaders of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) to pay regular visits to all correctional centres in the country in accordance with section 21 of the Correctional Service Act.




     

     

    “I am confident that if the visiting officers perform their duties, the congestion of the nation’s correctional centres will be seriously reduced,” Falana stated.

    He urged the Kaduna State government to contribute to renovating the Kaduna Correctional Centre.

    According to him, the facility in Kaduna state built in 1915 by the British colonial regime has not received the adequate attention of the federal government.

    He congratulated the state governor and lauded him for setting aside a special fund for immediate rehabilitation of the freed convicts and other detainees.

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    Bankole Abe
    Reporter at ICIR | [email protected] | Author Page

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