Civic Media Lab, in partnership with CLEEN Foundation, has launched a documentary series to tell the stories of Nigerians who have been denied justice by the Nigerian judicial system, while awaiting trial for years.
The five-minute series themed ‘Justice Un-served’ begins with the story of a young man, Babagana Bulama, who was allegedly arrested and detained for three years without seeing a judge. He eventually spent eight years in prison, before he was released.
Speaking with Seun Akinfolarin, the Director of Civic Media Lab, SaharaReporters gathered that the mini web series is aimed at presenting the reality that 66 per cent of Nigerians in jail are awaiting trial.
“Who are these Nigerians? What are the circumstances that got them into jail and how could it take so long for them to either get convicted or acquitted? These are vital questions that need to be answered,” he said.
Ahmed Adetola-Kazeem, a lawyer and the convener of the Prison Right Advocacy Initiative, a non-governmental organisation formed to help inmates, who have been detained for a long period of time without facing trial, accused the police of contravening the criminal code which states that a person is innocent until proven guilty.
“Good laws are being passed but the government pays lip service to their implementation," he said.
The Prison Right Advocacy group helped Babagana regain his freedom eight years after being unjustly imprisoned. The NGO has also helped to secure the release of more than 200 inmates, who had either been arrested for a crime they did not commit, or spent more time awaiting trial than they would have spent in jail if convicted.