By Salawudeen Olawale
The acting Chief Judge of Kano State, Justice Nura Sagir, has freed 20 inmates from Central Prison located in Kurmawa.
The judge freed the inmates while on a visit to the prison where he rolled out the parole of mercy in consonance with the provision of the Criminal Custody Act.
The Kano State Command of the Nigeria Prison Service had listed 107 inmates on the proposed parole list as part of efforts to decongest the central prison facility.
Those released were inmates alleged to be involved in minor offences, alongside those inmates held under custody for four years and above without being subjected to trial before a competent court of jurisdiction.
The CJ, who was accompanied by stakeholders in the judiciary, made use of his powers by also referring delayed cases for accelerated hearing.
He also ordered that other matters be also aligned for procedural prosecution.
Decrying the problem of prison congestion, Mr Sagir pledged that a quarterly visit to prison facilities in the state would commence with a view to addressing the challenges associated with prison congestion.
The chief judge therefore called on police, Nigeria Bar Association, Nigeria Prison Service and the bench to liaise and pursue speedy trial of cases in the interest of serving justice.
He charged the freed detainees to be of good behavior, and urged the public to integrate them into the society.
The comptroller, Kano State Command of the Nigeria Prison Service, Aliyu Achor, lamented that prison facilities in the state were being overstretched.
According to him, Kano Central Prison currently accommodates to over 2,000 inmates, of which 1,500 were on Awaiting Trial Moment, ATM.