Behind the bolted doors of Kurmawa central prison in Kano State, Nigeria, an old wooden board hangs high on the wall of the warden’s office, keeping count of the inmates inside the prison. Written in white chalk, the board shows that over 1,000 men are held in this jail – a building that is intended to house no more than 750 –most of whom are not convicts at all. These men await trial.
Among those waiting was a young man, about 5.4ft tall, by the name Abdulrazak Suleiman. Abdulrazak (21) remained in pretrial detention for eight years, after military officials arrested him in 2010 for alleged rape and abetment on a Thursday when he was about to ablute for his evening prayers.