Gov. Bala Mohammed of Bauchi State, who was unhappy with the fate of prison inmates in the state, has called on the judicial arm of government to find a better way to administer justice to the people.
According to the News Agency of Nigeria, Mohammed made the call in Bauchi during the official launching of the maiden Bar Journal, published in honour of the former Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN) Ibrahim Muhammad, by the state chapter of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA).
The governor, who was represented by his deputy, Alhaji Baba Tela, disclosed that the state government had on Friday, granted executive pardons to 153 inmates with minor offences.
According to him, most of the inmates spent many years in jail because they could not afford to pay their fines and penalties which he said ranged from N5,000 to N30,000 being the highest.
He said the important thing was that a lot of work needed to be done by the lawyers, both private and public, “so that we can find what is the best way to administer justice”.
“I don’t think it is justice to put 153 people in jail for offences they have committed for which they were fined N1.2 million and they could not pay.
“Please, let us find a better way of doing things,” said the governor.
Mohammed also described the former CJN as an achiever who has done much for Nigeria and the profession of the judiciary.
He congratulated the state NBA for finding the former CJN worthy of the occasion, adding that the state government had been an able supporter of the NBA and had done everything to support it in the discharge of its responsibilities.
Earlier, Ibrahim Muhammad said he was highly impressed, honoured and short of words to express his gratitude to the leadership of NBA, Bauchi, for honouring him with the maiden edition of its journal.
He noted that the judicial profession was noble and intellectual, adding that education was a lifelong and continuous process in the profession.
Muhammad also urged every member of NBA across the country to widen their scope of knowledge through reading, saying “if you don’t read, you will completely become ignorant and you can not function in a society which is literate.
“The recognition and the statutory roles accorded to members of the NBA in the administration of justice is a clear indication that they are critical stakeholders.
“The bar must, therefore, avoid anything that would erode public confidence in the legal profession.”
Also, Mr Jubrin Sa’id, the state Chairman of NBA, appreciated the governor for always recognising the association and rendering assistance when necessary.