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ASF France secures freedom for four detainees in Kaduna

By Bertram Nwannekanma
02 November 2021   |   2:40 am
Four victims of arbitrary detention in Kaduna State, who have been in custody for between three and five years without trial, have been released.


Four victims of arbitrary detention in Kaduna State, who have been in custody for between three and five years without trial, have been released.
   
The detainees were released following intervention by Avocats Sans Frontières France (ASF France), in line with its pro-bono legal aid intervention of the “Strengthening the National Actors Capacities and Advocation for Ending Severe Human Rights Violations in Nigeria” (SAFE) project.
  
The SAFE project is funded by the European Union and Agence Française de Développement. The released detainees are Mr. T.  Suleiman , Mr. Y. Hussaini , Mr.  S. Abdulrahan and Mr. I. Tukur.
  
Mr. Suleiman had been in custody since 2017 (4 years), both  Hussaini and  Abdulrahan had been in custody since 2016 (five years), while Tukur has been in custody since 2018 (three years).
 
The Guardian learnt that the detainees had all been in custody for years without trial, while Avocats Sans Frontières France handled their cases between May 2021 and August 2021.
 
Country Director of  ASF France, Angela Uwandu Uzoma-Iwuchukwu, said their case was clear examples of individuals whom the Nigerian justice system has failed.
 
According to her, arbitrary detention continues to be a huge problem in the administration of criminal justice in Kaduna State and Nigeria at large, with victims spending an unimaginable amount of time in detention without ever appearing in court for trial.
  
She stressed  that ASF France, through its pro-bono legal intervention, tendered separate applications to the Kaduna State High Court on behalf of the four detainees, particularly seeking for their unconditional release, citing the violation of their fundamental human rights to personal liberty and freedom of movement, provided under sections 35 and 41 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 as amended. All four (4) applications were successful at the Kaduna State High Court.
  
Uzoma-Iwuchukwu, who commended the judges for their rulings, said: “Rapid and pragmatic actions need to be taken to boost the confidence of Nigerians in the justice system of the country. The slow pace of justice perpetuates injustice.
 
“These victories would serve as motivation for ASF France, and other human rights focused groups to continue to give a voice to the defenceless and several detainees awaiting trial.”
  
Speaking after his release,  Suleiman said: “I am from Katsina State, I really suffered in the prison, I have spent four years in there and I had no hope of coming out.

“I am very grateful to ASF France for making my release possible. I can now go back to my wife and children.”