CURE-Nigeria Frees 209 Detainees: From The Legal Aid Desk. By Barr. Judith Ohaeri (Project Manager/HRO)
This report shows how CURE – Nigeria, working to reform the Nigerian criminal justice and prison system, and increase access to justice for all, have been delivering vital support to inmates who can not afford the services of a lawyer. It highlights how we have increased legal support (Pro Bono) for inmates in Keffi, Enugu and Makurdi prisons respectively.
This year, which started in May, CURE – Nigeria took up 27 cases with in the F.C.T, Enugu, and Benue State, with offences ranging from theft, criminal conspiracy, culpable homicide, kidnapping, armed robbery among others in lower and higher courts. So far we have concluded 5 cases and 19 cases are ongoing.
However, no progress has been made in the following cases in Makurdi, Benue State:
1. C.O.P v Ruth Okoronkwo
2. C.O.P v LubemAnswen
3. C.O.P v MsughTerver
This is as a result of police unending investigations (Holden Charge). CURE – Nigeria has written to the Attorney General, Benue State, the Chief Judge, Benue State and the Commissioner of Police, Benue State Command, urging them to look into the matter and take appropriate steps and measures to achieve quick dispensation of justice and help reduce prison congestion in the State.
Overall, a total number of 142 cases have been handled. We withdrew from 44 cases, while 17 cases are ongoing. 80 cases have been concluded, out of which 65 cases have been discharged, 6 cases discharged and acquitted and 10 cases ended in conviction. A grand total of 209 people have been released.
CURE-Nigeria is working with attorneys in Delta and Edo State to expand our legal aid to these states.
CURE-Nigeria seeks the closure of secret detention centers across the country
A human rights group, Citizens Unite for Rehabilitation of Errants (CURE-Nigeria) has appealed to the Federal Government to direct the Nigeria police force to, not only charge detainees by the Special Anti Robbery Squad (SARS) to court, but also declare the number of Nigerians being held by SARS to the public. Read More
A human rights group, Citizens Unite for Rehabilitation of Errants (CURE-Nigeria) has tasked the Nigeria police force to declare the number of detainees being held by the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) to the public. Read More
Still on death penalty, Catholic church has this to say
Don’t execute 2,359 inmates, Group urges FG
Human Rights Groups in Nigeria have rejected moves by the Government to execute inmates on death row.
The ADVOCATE is a quarterly Publication of Citizens United for the Rehabilitation of Errants (CURE) Nigeria, and here is Our July edition
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As the world celebrates Mandela Day, Citizens United for the Rehabilitation of Errants, CURE-Nigeria, throug it’s Executive Director, Mr. Sylvester Uhaa, has accused the Federal Government of paying lip service to prison congestion in Nigeria.
It is extremely sad that prison congestion, which is caused by the excessive reliance on incarceration, abuse of power, corruption, and blatant disrespect for the rule of law and human rights of suspects, has never received the desired attention in the history of Nigeria.This is so because most of the prisoners are poor and marginalized people, and Nigeria does not care for its poor population. If rich and powerful people were in prison in Nigeria, the case would be different.
We thought that Mr. President’s public acknowledgment that prison congestion is a national scandal and the subsequent statement by the Vice President that Nigerian prisons turn inmates into animals, would lead to concrete and tangible actions to solve the problem, but all we saw was the release of handful people across the country and everything ended. This is not enough to address the huge awaiting trial population of prisoners, who are subjected to inhuman and degrading treatment and have poor access to lawyers, good nutrition, portable water, medical and health care, education and other rehabilitation programs, and lack basic needs they are entitled to under international law.
Above all, 70% of the prison population is awaiting trial for long periods. Although prolonged pretrial detention is unarguably, one of the greatest forms of injustice and human rights violations in Nigeria, it is often ignored because most of the victims of pretrial detention are poor and marginalized people.
As we mark Mandela Day, we call on the Federal and state governments to release those who have spent years awaiting trial, especially those accused of non-violent offences, grant amnesty to death row inmates, particularly those who are weak, terminally-ill and are too old to pose danger to their communities, commute all death sentences to life imprisonment with a possibility of parole and put in place mechanisms to prevent prolonged pre-trial detention.
In addition, we ask the Federal and state governments to ensure that juveniles in conflict with the law are not sent to adult prisons and not tried as adults. Furthermore, we recommend the use of alternatives to incarceration for all non-violent female offenders, particularly nursing mothers and pregnant women, as well as the transfer to mental hospitals, the huge number of all mentally-ill persons in prisons and other detention facilities across the country for medical attention, as these people are not supposed to be in prison.
Finally, we ask the Federal Government to place emphasis on crime prevention, through aggressive investment in education, job creation,peace-building, rebuilding our infrastructure and social protection programs to reduce poverty, rather than focusing on expanding our law enforcement and procuring guns and ammunition, as experience has shown thatsimply expanding law enforcement and procuring more guns without addressing the root causes of crime cannot guarantee security of lives and properties.
Letter to the National Human Rights Commission to Investigate the Alleged Violation of the Compulsory Treatment and Care for Victims of Gunshot Involving Garki Hospital and Miss Linda Igwetu
CURE-Nigeria has written the National Human Rights Commission to Investigate the alleged violation of the Compulsory Treatment and Care for Victims of Gunshot Act, 2017 involving the corp member killed in Abuja and Garki hospital …..Read More