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Five inmates regain freedom in Delta

By Monday Osayande, Asaba
19 January 2022   |   2:42 am
The Chief Judge of Delta State, Justice Theresa Diai has discharged five inmates awaiting trial at the Warri Custodial Centre of the Nigerian Correctional Service.

[FILES] Hands of the prisoner in jail. Photo: EUROPA

The Chief Judge of Delta State, Justice Theresa Diai has discharged five inmates awaiting trial at the Warri Custodial Centre of the Nigerian Correctional Service.

Justice Diai ordered their release following legal advice from the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) who said the defendants have no case to answer.

The inmates include Ejovi Daniel (29), Testimony Invoke (35), Michael Ahmed (20), Destiny Julius (29) and Nwafili Ifeanyi (39) who have been in custody for two years.

The inmates thanked the Chief Judge for the freedom, promising to be law-abiding and be useful to society.

The Chief Judge who arrived at the Warri Custodial Centre popularly called, Okere prison, for the quarterly visit, commended the prison authority for their adequate preparation.

Justice Diai said: “Not much was done last year due to the prevailing circumstance. What we are doing is to ensure people get justice. “

She further explained that the prison visit was not meant to usurp the jurisdiction of the courts on cases before it, but that cases would be considered on their merit including health grounds, unjustified long detention in custody
and lack of diligent prosecution.

The last visit to Custodial centres was in April 2020 on the directive of the Federal Government to decongest prison formations across the country due to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Deputy Controller of Corrections, Warri Custodial Centre, Efiong Okon Etim disclosed that the total inmates in the centre are 873 against its capacity of 307. 

He said 506 are awaiting trial, seven on short-term convicts, 91 are long-term convicts, nine detainees, 45 lifers while 215 are inmates on death row.

Etim appealed to the Chief Justice to use her good offices to influence the state governor to change sentences of those on death row in the spirit of the Nigerian Correctional Service Act 2019 LFN.

He also lauded the state government for domesticating the Act and giving them assistance in the Centre in the area of drugs procurement for inmates and interventions through Dame Edith Okowa’s O’5 Initiative.