Suspect dies in prison after 6 years without trial
Posted by Pamela Eboh, Awka | 16 December 2016 | 1,827 times
Anambra Chief Judge, Justice Peter Umeadi.
The death of Mr. Ndubuisi Beluolisa, an awaiting-trial inmate of Awka Prison, fouled the mood of the court yesterday when the Chief Judge of Anambra State, Justice Peter Umeadi, was informed of death of the development.
The armed robbery suspect, who had been in prison custody for six years without trial, was among those whose cases were to be looked into by the Chief Judge.
Beluolisa was listed among four inmates under the ‘very sick’ category whose cases were to be treated compassionately by the CJ, who has been on jail delivery in the prisons in Anambra State since last month.
When the name of Beluolisa was called to appear for his matter to be considered, the audience was taken aback when the Prison Doctor, Frank Uzor, informed the CJ that the suspect died on November 30, 2016 while in custody.
According to the doctor, the suspect started losing weight at some point and was taken to the Amaku Specialist General Hospital for proper check-up but died thereafter.
“Ndubuisi started losing weight and we took him to the Amaku Specialist Hospital and took samples of his sputum for analysis, but he later died on November 30. We suspect that he died of pulmonary tuberculosis,” the Dr Uzor announced.
Records have it that Beluolisa had, on July 9, 2010, applied for bail after the state Commissioner of Police forwarded his file to the court, which made the CJ to question why he was further kept in detention for another six years after he applied for bail.
The state Director of Public Prosecution (DPP), Mr. Osunkwo, informed the CJ that one T.C. Obuekwe was handling Beluolisa’s file, adding that he (Osunkwo) had no idea why the case was further delayed for six years until he died in detention.
Regretting that nothing happened after the police forwarded the case file to the DPP, Justice
Umeadi directed that the family of the deceased should be written to inform them of the ugly development. He further ordered the DPP to do a letter to his office explaining what happened since the relevant officers were apportioning blame on the circumstances that led to the detention of the suspect for six years without trial.
News Express learnt that there are over 40 inmates at the Awka Prisons who have remained without trial for six to eight years.
Those who were discharged by the CJ for having stayed too long without trial include Garba Michael from Plateau State, who was charged for illegal possession of firearms in 2008 and whose case file could no longer be traced; Amaechi Ede, who was charged for burglary in 2010; Nafiu Mohammed, who has been in detention for eight years; Emmanuel Sampson, who has been in detention without trial for seven years and eight months; and Chigozie Udogu, detained without trial for five years and six months.
The jail delivery exercise, which attracted judges, magistrates, legal practitioners and other judicial workers and security operatives, witnessed the granting of bail to 12 other inmates.