Five incarcerated persons were, on Tuesday, October
29, set free by the chief Judge of Delta State during his inspection visit to
Agbor Prison.

CJ, Hon Justice Z.A Smith, while making his opening speech, had acknowledged
the high expectations of the inmates whom he told to keep it so, but not to let
their emotions overweigh  them. He told
them that it was  true that the  exercise was geared towards prison
decongestion, “but it is decongestion in accordance with laid down law.”

to the CJ, “we are not here to review cases already being handled by the
judges, because we are equals as far as looking into the facts of every case is
concerned.” He  gave three conditions
(being silent on a fourth) on which freedom can be granted to a prisoner.

it is expected that “you must have been brought here lawfully” and “the
procedures must have been followed. If not, and you are just dumped here, of
course, we will let you out.”

condition, he said, is “if you have been here for quite a while.” For instance
awaiting trial for a number of months or years equivalent or proportional to
the time one would have served if sentenced from the very time of arrest and

third is on health ground. Any detainee whose health has deteriorated, or who
might have suffered serious health damage would have his case looked into and
His Lordship urged to consider the case. “His Lordship,” here, being the trial

He, however, kept the fourth
condition to himself but concluded that “it is only when administrative
necessities arise that I will intervene.”

earlier during his welcome address, the Deputy Controller of Prisons in charge
of Agbor Prison, Ven. Imoroa H.F expressed his joy over the exercise which he
described as a “constitutional obligation,” due to the relief it brings to the
entire prison environment.

on behalf of the inmates, he said “our gathering today will not be cut short of
what it has always been. Expectations are high, emotions are stirred up because
some of the inmates would be released while others may be granted audience and
intervention in their cases.”

the end of the day, out of 243 inmates, five were set free, while three others
were granted bail. Leaving behind, 235 prisoners, of which there are 23
females, two out of which are convicted. The
five prisoners (all male) who were set free are Uzoma Amuna who was convicted
for stealing, Wisdom Toby  Ukwere; and
Iwenda Nwulu, both released for lack of prima facie, Nwulu was detained for
child stealing. Others are Imoke Osakun and Ndubuisi Ogun.

granted bail are Peter Anachona, Chukwuma Ikechukwu and Ekhomu Juliet. Juliet
was imprisoned for selling drugs without license, but was, however, granted
bail in the sum of N50,000 and a shortee in like sum who must be the husband.
She secured the bail because of her daughter of about one year who was
incarcerated with her. According to her, she is a qualified medical
practitioner and applied for license, but had not gotten it because the body
that was supposed to issue the license was on strike.

present at the occasion include the controller of Prisons, Delta State, CP
Joseph Olarinde, High Court Judges. Some of whom are Justices Daniel Maidoh of
the Agbor High Court I; I.E Okogwu of Agbor High Court II, Nduka Obi (Obiaruku)
and C. Ogadi- (Owayibo), among others. Also present were the Director of Public
Prosecution (DPP), Mr. Edema E.H; Magistrates of various Courts; the chairman
of Nigerian Bar. Association (NBA); members of the Legal Aid Council; as well
as other legal practitioners               
The CJ had visited Kwale Prison the previous day, and was billed to
visit Ogwashi prison the following day.

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