By Udeh Gabriel
Legal practitioner Barr. Obiyo E. Ugoamadi has petition Kaduna Correctional centre authorities for what he described as obnoxious new conditions set for lawyers to access client inmates in the centre, popularly addressed as convict prison.
The petition dated 25th November 2020, and signed by Barr. Ugoamadi of OE Ogoamadi and Co. (Okpuala Chambers), was addressed to the Executive Secretary National human rights Commission ( NHRC), Kaduna Office.
The petitioner stated that the condition set for lawyers visiting their clients at the Kaduna custodial centre is a clear case of denial of inmates rights to access their Lawyers.
He said a notice posted on the the lawyers platform on 11th November 2020, by one Assistant Suppretent Comptroller (ASC) of Correctional Centre, AM Zain, directed that lawyers wishing to see their clients must passed through the eyes of the needle before allowed to see them.
In the notice letter authored by ASC Zain, Kaduna costudial Centre stated, among other things ‘, that lawyers visitation and Interviews has resumed and that legal practitioner “can apply to interview their clients but stressed that their application must be forwarded, at least, 24 hours before Visitation.
The Officer in charge of the custodial centre in the notice, also stated that application would only be granted in respect of one case regardless of the number of inmates answering the case.
Other conditions sets are that a lawyer who want to interview more than one client must apply separately for each except case inmate, COVID-19 protocol must be observed strictly, adding that above requirements must be complied with for successful interview.
According to the petitioner Barr. Ugoamadi, the process or hurdles are disparaging and deamining to lawyers who intend to render services to their clients inmates at the center.
He state that “Out of the eight conditions, numbers 4 to 6 are subtle denial of lawyers access to the centre and denial of inmates rights to access their counsel as provided by section 36 of the 1999 constitution of the federal republic of Nigeria as amended.
The petitioner further stated that three barriers are great impediment to smooth administration of Justice, saying authorities of Kaduna prison should come out openly and tells Nigeria that lawyer should stop coming to the centre and that any unfortunate Nigerians taken to the centre should forget about he’s or her rights to counsels.
Condition number 5 according the petitioner is a display of cross administration of Justice, and wondered what happened when a co defendant made serious allegation against the other, among other legal implications. End.