The Chief Judge of Plateau State, Justice Yakubu Dakwak, on Monday, discharged 50 awaiting-trial inmates who had been in custody at the Jos Correctional Centre over different minor offences.
Dakwak said the release of the detainees was in line with the Federal Government’s decision to decongest the custodial centres in the country in a bid to check the spread of COVID-19 in the country.
The chief judge, however, said those standing trial for alleged violent offences like murder, armed robbery, kidnapping, and rape did not benefit from the reprieve.
The discharged inmates are those arraigned for theft, breach of trust and inciting public disturbance.
The suspects had been on remand for many months with some spending over a year in jail without going on trial.
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The chief judge told the inmates that they were discharged of the offences but not acquitted.
He said: “I want to tell all of you that you have been discharged but not acquitted.
“If you go out there and commit another crime, you will come back here and we will reopen this case and still try you for the new one you committed.
“We expect you to be of good behaviour and take this as a chance to turn a new leaf and shun crime.”
Dakwak said the exercise would continue quarterly in all the state’s correctional centres to help decongest the facilities.
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