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The Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) has raised concern on the need to decongest suspects of various crimes kept at the Police headquarters, Taraba State command.

 

At a press conference in Jalingo, chairman of the Nigerian Bar Association, Jalingo Branch, Barrister Abubakar Dahiru Mustapha said the call to decongest the suspects at the state police headquarters became necessary considering the challenges most of the suspects are going through.

 

Barr. Mustapha said the NBA Jalingo branch had visited the police headquarters Jalingo with the aim of knowing the congestion in their cell, the causes of the congestion and proffering a solution on how to tackle it. 

 

He disclosed that based on the state cell report, there are seventy eight suspects at the state police headquarters out of which three are female and seventy five are male. 


The NBA Chairman said police Cells are not meant for remanding suspects. "Ideally, these suspects are supposed to be taken to court", he added. 

 

Barr. Mustapha noted that there are four High court judicial divisions in the state, namely Jalingo division, Wukari division, Takum division and Gembu division.

 

However, he lamented that " what we found at the police headquarters is telling us that what we have is that some of these suspects are only left in Jalingo if not all. 


Some of these suspects are supposed to be taken to Gembu. They are supposed to be arraigned there and be tried there, but they are still in Jalingo. 


The same thing with those who are supposed to be taken to Takum and Wukari Judicial divisions are still in the police custody here in Jalingo.

 

"It is a law that a suspect who is arrested should be tried within the territorial jurisdiction of the court where the suspect was arrested".

 

Secretary of the Association, Barrister Benson Vaatsavi said some of the suspects' in the police custody have their health conditions deteriorating, suffer from poor feeding and lack clothes to wear.

 

"We have visited the police headquarters in Jalingo, we have seen the situation of inmates there, it's very pathetic, it is so sympathizing.

 

" When we went there, some of the suspects could not stand up on their own, they could only lie down. 


Infact even clothes to wear are not there. Some were coming out neked and it was so dehumanizing to look at it. The health of these people are in danger and I discovered they are not feeding well", Barr. Vaatsavi said. 

 

 

He added that based on the report they received, some of the police officers volunteer and sacrifice to feed, clothe and supply some basic needs to the suspects. 

 

The NBA chairman, Jalingo branch Barrister Mustapha and the Secretary Barr. Vaatsavi urged the Taraba State Government to as a matter of urgency ensure that the suspects are taken to the respective judicial divisions for trials.

 

"We are calling on the government to come in and discharge their responsibility. They should provide a means by which these suspects can be taken easily to Gembu and other judicial divisions for trials. Allowing them here would create another problem", said Barr. Mustapha. 

 

"Those who are there because of court order are not supposed to remain there. Government should do something about it."

 

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