- Not less than 40 inmates are awaiting trial and languishing in Minna Medium Security Prison for six years because their case files are missing
- The State Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department was said to have lost the case files
- The state chief judge, Maria Sanda Zukogi, gave the intelligence department two weeks ultimatum to provide the missing case files
The case files of not less than 40 inmates facing criminal charges have been misplaced by the State Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department (SCIID).
The inmates have been languishing at the Minna Medium Security Prison in Niger state for the past six years due to the missing files, Premium Times reports.
NAIJ.com gathered that the assertion was made during the annual visit to prisons by the state chief judge, Maria Sanda Zukogi, to review cases and grant required pardons to deserving inmates, for the purpose of decongesting the prisons.
It was learnt that some of the inmates that their case files are missing are awaiting trial on capital offences such as murder, robbery, r*pe and other offences.
The chief judge said she was incapacitated to release the inmates from prison due to their missing case files, adding that she was holding the office of the SCIID responsible for the missing case files.
She urged the inmates to be patient and also gave the legal unit of the SCIID headed by Jude Akaeze, two weeks ultimatum to produce the case files so that the office of the attorney general can determine the level of their implication in the charges against them.
However, 21 other convicted inmates who are either too old or have health challenges, were pardoned by Zugoki. Some who have shown remorse or whose sentences were about to end were also pardoned.
The chief judge advised the pardoned inmates to be of good behaviour, and to imbibe positive values so as to become useful members of the society.
Meanwhile, NAIJ.com previously reported that the Nigerian Prison Service (NPS) on Sunday, December 17, announced that majority of the inmates in its facilities across the country were awaiting trial.
The NPS said 66 percent of these inmates were awaiting trial as at Friday, December 15.
Speaking at the quarterly meeting of the Penal Reform Media Network in Lagos, the controller general of NPS, Jaafaru Ahmed, said that the population of these prisoners was at 72,384.
Ex-prisoner turns advocate for release of former inmates - on NAIJ.com TV