Rev. Mamza calls on stakeholders to address awaiting trial, others in Nigeria prisons

~ Donates food, non-food items to Jimeta prison inmates for Christmas festivity

The chairman Adamawa State chapter of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) who is also the Bishop of Yola Catholic diocese, Most Rev. Dami Maza, has called on governments at all levels and the international community to address the multifaceted challenges dogging correctional facilities in Nigeria.

Mamza who made the charge during a visit to Jimeta correctional facility, Yola, Saturday, noted that the visit has offered him insights into the challenges dogging the correctional facility.

He called on the state government and particularly the office of the chief justice of the state to work assiduously to ensure that the issue of awaiting trial is brought to an end as justice delayed is justice denied.

“There are a lot of challenges in this place and I got to know them deeper today. Some of the challenges are outbreak of scabies. I want to call on the primary healthcare, Adamawa State and some international organizations like World Health Organization (WHO) and UNICEF to come and intervene.

“These inmates have sores all over their bodies some of them don’t have good eyesight. There is need for particularly international organizations to come and assist the inmates.

“The second big issue is that some of them are awaiting trials for five years and nearly ten years. I’m calling on the chief judge of Adamawa State to please quickly do something so that the inmates can be taken to court.

“How can somebody stay for five years awaiting trial? It’s not fair and at the end of the day the person is now jailed two years and he has probably spent five years. There is no justice. What of if at the end of the day the person is not found guilty? I want to call on those concerned to look into these issues again,” he reiterated.

Mamza who also brought food and non-food items to the inmates said he deemed it fit to do so in the spirit of the Christmas festivity.

According to him some of the items he brought based on needs assessment include; medicated soaps for every inmate, bathroom slippers, sleeping mats, buckets, and drugs for medication in addition to a cow to be slaughtered for the inmates to enjoy Christmas celebration.

Thanking the clergy man for the kind gesture, the deputy controller of corrections in charge of Jimeta medium security, Mohammed Juta noted that the visit of Mamza has uplifted the spirit of both staff and inmates of the correctional facility.

“I and my staff are very grateful for this gesture. We have already started our Christmas today. The gesture will impact on the inmates of this facility” he said.

Also applauding the kind gesture of Rev Mamza, some inmates in the facility including, Bulus Ezekiel, Emeka Samuel thanked the Bishop for his life saving intervention.

They enumerated some of the challenges bedeviling them to include health challenges, long periods of awaiting trial and dearth of electricity. They urged the Bishop to also come to their rescue in upsetting fines imposed on some of them as they noted that some inmates are being in custody for failure to upset fines for as low as N20,000.


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