Lawyer Sues Government Over Long Detention Of Persons Awaiting Trial

A human rights lawyer, Mr. Nelson Olanipekun, has filed a matter before the Oyo State High Court in Ibadan, against the government over the detention of 100 inmates whose matter are yet to be charged to court but have been held in custody for over 7 years.

According to Mr. Olanipekun, 88%, put at 1004 of the inmates at Agodi prison are awaiting trial. He said there are people who have been awaiting legal advice since 2010.

“Keeping people for over 7 years without trial is absolute injustice in its entirety,” Mr. Olanipekun said, adding that the Administration of Criminal Justice Act (ACJA) does not allow for a person to be held perpetually in detention without being charged to court.

“The Administration of Criminal Justice Act has been passed for over two years now but the little impact has it made. The Act provides for a total of 14 days remand time for inmates and renewable for another 14 days if an application is brought to court for the renewal,” he said. 

“However, this is not the case in reality; the inmates are already treated as being guilty as opposed to the law which says a person is innocent until pronounced guilty by a competent Court.”

The young lawyer tracks many of the awaiting trial cases with Justice Clock, a technological tool designed to monitor how long a person has been held in prison custody.

Segun, one of the inmates whose case was tracked by Justice Clock explained he had been held in detention for seven years without knowing his offense.

“I have been here since the year 2010 while coming from the farm, some policemen suddenly stopped me and said I had killed someone. Even the body of the alleged deceased, I did not see,” Segun said.

Mr. Olanipekun is the team lead of Gavel, a civic tech organization that seeks to increase the pace of justice delivery and accountability through tracking of cases and the reduction of the opacity in the justice sector.


SOURCE :sahara reporters (news)

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