Posted by News Express | 21 December 2017 | 2,774 times
There was wild jubilation in the Warri Medium Prison as the Chief Judge of Delta State, Justice Marshal Umukoro released a large number of inmates as he concluded his 2017 Quarterly Prison visit in the Warri Medium Prison.
Those released included a nursing mother of a two-month-old baby who was standing trial for grievous harm, and several others who regained their freedom to reunite with their families for the Christmas celebration.
The Chief Judge ordered their release on the grounds of ill health, lack of diligent prosecutions by the Police, offence committed not known to law and no case to answer based on the legal advice from the Attorney-General of the State through the Director of Public Prosecutions.
Other criteria used by the CJ to free the inmates from captivity was on the ground of the validity of the remand warrants whether it was issued by a court of competent jurisdiction, the period the inmate has spent in custody awaiting trial and other exceptional circumstances.
Justice Marshal reviewed 3,036 remand warrants presented to him by the Controller of Prisons of the state Command, Sam Iyakoregha and released a total of number of 150 inmates from the Agbor, Ogwashi-Uku, Kwale, Sapele and Warri Prisons in an exercise that started on November 14, 2017. He disclosed that the visitation was in pursuant to the provision of the Criminal Justice (Release from Custody (Special Provision) Act Cap, Volume 4, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004, and in order to exemplify the passionate desire of the Chief Judge to decongest the Prisons.
He said that the common age bracket of inmates in custody fall within 17 and 27 years which, according to Justice Umukoro, "shows a gross dysfunction in our family system in the country," adding that many of them were from poor background. was quick to say that poverty should not be an excuse to go into crime.
Cp Sam Iyakoregha thanked the State Government on its effort to decongest the Prisons and unite families this Yuletide Period.
Elsewhere in Benue State, Governor Samuel Ortom has granted amnesty to 18 inmates (released), commuted 4 other inmates’ death sentences to life imprisonment; and reduced the sentence of an inmate from 21 to 18 years of imprisonment.
The benefiting inmates are from Benue State but were transferred to serve their sentences in Plateau and Taraba states.
Granting of the amnesty was sequel to the recommendations of good conduct, remorsefulness and illness of the inmates made by Benue State Prisons Authority led by the Controller of Prisons, Mr. Peter Pevigo, in the meeting of Benue State Advisory Council on Prerogative of Mercy held on 4th day of December, 2017.
The Controller of Prisons, Mr Peter Pevigo thanked the governor of Benue State for helping in prison decongestion and making the released Prisoners to celebrate with their loved ones in this Christmas.
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