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Niger Chief Judge decries increasing number of juvenile offenders



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By Uthman Mijinyawa, Minna

The Chief Judge of Niger State, Justice Mohammed Aliyu Mayaki, has raised an alarm on the increasing proportion of teenagers engaging in capital and minor offences in the state, saying the trend is worrisome.

The Chief judge noted that some parents have refused to discharge their responsibility on their children which was the major reasons behind the involvement of their children in all sorts of social vices such as armed robbery, house breaking, drug addiction and other crimes that will end up destroying their future.

Speaking during his visit to the Minna Juvenile remand home in the conclusion of his State wide visit to the correctional Centres, the Chief judge warned that if parents refused to impact on the lives of their children, which is their responsibility, it will not augur well for the development of their future and the nation.

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According to the chief judge, it is the responsibility of any parent to give their children the proper upbringing for them to be responsible in the society, adding any parents that failed in his responsibility has created a problem for child already.

Justice Aliyu Mayaki described as disturbing, the way and manner some parents deliberately refused to shoulder their responsibility on their children allowing them to indulge in social vices that end up bringing them to custodial centre.

He stressed the need for parents to see their children as a trust given to them by Allah and their refusal to give them the needed and proper upbringing would incur anger of Allah.

“If parents all over live up to their responsibility in giving their children the needed upbringing in accordance to the tenent of our religion which is the responsibility of every parents to cater for the needs of their family; and provide them with their needs which is the reason you brought them to the world, you have discharged your responsibility as parents.

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However, CAPITAL POST’s findings at the Minna juvenile remand home revealed that a total of 13 teenagers are languishing in the remand home for culpable homicide an offence punishable under section 221 of the penal code which attracts death penalty if found guilty. It was further revealed that some of teenagers were not taken to court for diligent prosecution by the police for over six years as the police could not trace their case files to be forwarded to the office of the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP), in the ministry of Justice for proper legal advice.

In some cases, the police legal unit and the Director Public Prosecution in the ministry of Justice would be trading blame against each other for not taking the teenagers to court for prosecution .

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Apparently, worried by the deliberate act of delaying prosecution against inmates languishing in various custodial centres across the state, Justice Mayaki warned both the police Prosecutors and the state Counsel to put the fate of the suspects on awaiting trial in to consideration, noting that all the suspects on awaiting trial are presumed innocent until they are found guilty by court of competent jurisdiction.

“These suspects are all presumed innocent. They are entitled to freedom.

You can’t just keep on subjecting them to unnecessary incanceration in custodial centre for goodness sake. They are human beings like any of us.

“They deserve to be treated like an innocent that should not be denied their freedom. Let me reiterated my position once again. The police and the office of the Director of Public Prosecution DPP should work together to ensure the speedy administration of Criminal Justice”, he noted.


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