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Kogi courts have 90 days to dispense pending criminal cases

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Chief Judge of Kogi State, Justice Nasiru Ajanah, has directed that all criminal cases pending before courts in the State before the advent of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) must be determined within the next three months.

The CJ gave the order when he received the new controller of the Nigerian Correctional Service to the state, Mr. Abubakar Gurin, who visited his office yesterday at the High Court Headquarters, Lokoja.

While assuring the service of the judiciary’s support, the CJ said, for the justice delivery system in the state to be effective, the bench’s existing cordial relationship with the service would be maintained.

As a critical stakeholder in the justice delivery system, the fundamental role of the custodial centres would continue to be instrumental in the smooth judicial processes in the state, Ajanah added.

He lamented that the judiciary was adversely affected when prison facilities were under lock and refused to accept awaiting trial inmates from the courts during the period of the COVID-19 lockdown.

Expressing happiness that the Controller-General (CG) had reversed the order as lockdown eases.

His reaction followed the disclosure by the new controller that the CG of the service had approved the acceptance of awaiting trial inmates attending courts back into the correctional centres as a result of the ease of lockdown.

“You know it is not in the character of judges to disclose the position of the court on the alleged crimes committed by the defendants who are facing trial. So it was difficult to say whether or not the inmates brought before the court would be returned to detention, and this made it difficult for us to continue their trials in absence,” he added.


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