A Rivers State High Court has ordered the complete release of 150 inmates currently being held at the Port Harcourt Maximum Correctional Centre.
The Herald Nigeria gather that the released inmates had spent nine years in prison without trial.
This follows after, Barrister Nasiru Ibiloye; through his organisation, ‘Access To Freedom International’, initiated a fundamental human rights case against the Commissioner of Police, Attorney General, Comptroller of Prisons Rivers State Command and the Chief Registrar of Rivers State Judiciary.
In delivering the verdict, Justice G. O. Ollor ordered all four defendants in the case to pay damages worth N100, 000 to each of the inmates for their prolonged detention and breach of their fundamental human rights.
The court ruled that the plaintiff’s counsel and his human rights organisation, were in their legal rights to pursue the case.
Ibiloye later revealed that his organisation had visited the correctional centre to guarantee that the inmates there were receiving fair treatment, only to discover that some of the inmates had lingered in detention without any trial.
“As an NGO, we went to the prison yard to check the amenities and ensure that inmates are treated fairly. We are building a library for them. In the course of doing these things, we discovered that the prison was overstretched,” Ibiloye stated.
“Some people have spent 10 years, some 15 years. We asked for their list. We first applied for their charge sheet. We could not get the charge sheet until the court made an order against the Chief Registrar.
“At the end of the day, judgement was delivered and the court ruled that all the inmates be released unconditionally,” he ended.
‘Access To Freedom International’ is a human rights organisation, based in Port Harcourt, Rivers state, that are concerned with cases of human rights violation and other related issues.