Olympus Marino Legal Roundtable
It is estimated that up to 75 percent of persons currently in Nigeria’s custodial facilities are awaiting trial. A large share of them have never had the privilege of appearing in a court to defend themselves before a judge.
A good number of inmates have spent more time in prison awaiting trial then than they would have spent if convicted and sentenced for the crimes they have been accused of.
Rather than serve as an institution for correction, Nigeria’s prisons hold a large number of innocent people who have never been convicted of a crime.
The debilitating and loathsome conditions in the prisons, coupled with the sense of injustice many inmates feel, has engendered a feeling of frustration, fatality and alarming propensity to crime and social vengeance.
The Legal Round-table session organized by National Association of Seadogs, Olympus Marino Deck in Port-Harcourt, Rivers State, brought together legal experts, civil society activists and representatives of the Rivers State Ministry of Justice, who explored the legal and practical dimensions of the Administration of Criminal Justice (AOCJ) System in Nigeria and made far reaching recommendations for reforms. These recommendations will be developed into a working paper for advocacy actions.