Benue judiciary sets up special courts to de-congest police cells

A prison cell used to illustrate the story
FILE PHOTO: A police cell used to illustrate the story

The Benue Judiciary has made provisions for special court sessions where suspects can be arraigned so to decongest police cells in the state, according to the state Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Philip Ierkwagh.

Mr. Ierkwagh said on Friday in Makurdi that the arrangement was sequel to complaints that police cells in the state were congested.

The congestion was attributed to the ongoing strike by the Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria in the state.
He said that it would be unjust to detain a suspect for a long period without arraignment since a suspect was presumed innocent until proven guilty.

Mr. Ierkwagh urged police prosecutors to approach the special court and arraign the suspects in their custody as soon as possible.

The commissioner reaffirmed government’s commitment to the efforts being made to end the JUSUN strike in the state, adding that discussions and negotiations between top government functionaries and judicial officials were ongoing.

”Government is interested in the independence of the judiciary and had made concerted efforts towards ensuring autonomy of the judiciary so that the strike can be called off.”

He expressed the hope that the meeting between government and JUSUN officials would yield positive results.

“The general elections are at the corner, so the state wants the strike to be called off to enable aggrieved parties, after the elections, to go to election tribunals, instead of taking the law into their hands,” Mr. Ierkwagh said.


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