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Edo Chief Judge Frees Eight Inmates From Correctional Centres

The Edo Chief Judge, Justice Joe Acha, has freed eight inmates from three correctional centres in South and Central Districts of the state.

Acha freed two inmates in Ubiaja centre in Central District of Edo; two inmates,  Odianosen John, who has been in prison since 2017 for stealing a phone and Abu Tanko, charged for theft since 2019 were released unconditionally.

John’s case file was missing while there was no evidence against Tanko who had not appeared in court for over five years, now sick and paralysed.

In Edo South Senatorial District at Medium Security Custodial Centre Benin, one inmate, Yambor Ditorysin, 27, was freed.

Ditorysin was arrested in place of his brother by the police because his brother who committed a crime was not seen.

At Oko Medium custodial centre, five inmates were released unconditionally.

Osas John, 28; Lucky Osamwonyi 20; Mohammed Jaminu, ,22; Osamudiamhe Efeseyi, 23 and Hanafi Usman Mohammed, 49.

John had spent six years awaiting trial while Osamwonyi, who has spent eight months without trial, had a  misunderstanding with his aunt and was arrested by the police, charged for attempted murder and stealing.

Jaminu who had spent six years without trial, was arrested at late hour while riding bike at Auchi while Efeseyi, who allegedly bought a stolen phone unknowingly, was tracked and arrested in 2018 without trial.

The fifth inmate freed was Mohammed from Kebbi, who was arrested in Benin in broad daylight on a Friday on his way to the Mosque, had spent three months and 13 days without trial.

Justice Acha also recommended accelerated hearing for some cases.

Justice Acha also observed that all the centres visited had peculiar challenges of vehicles to convey inmates to their various courts for trials.

He promised to intervene with the state government on the issue.

Earlier, the leaderships of Oko and Old Benin correctional centres, Deputy Comptroller Balogun Olawande and Hammed Ejekhine, told Justice Acha of their challenges of vehicles to convey inmates to courts.

“It is my very first visit to Correctional Centres in Edo State, in my capacity as Chief Judge, although it must be said that I have visited these facilities many times in the past with my predecessors in office and participated actively and fully in previous jail delivery exercises,” Acha said.

“Nonetheless, I apologise profusely for this unintentional delay in paying this my maiden visit.

“Secondly, a visit such as this is in furtherance of the avowed commitment and collective determination of Edo State Judiciary as well as other critical stake holders in the Criminal Justice sector, to decongest our Correctional Centres.

” This is by ensuring that no one stays here a day longer than necessary, and to promote speedy determination of criminal trials.

“Specifically, some of the functions of the Administration of Criminal Justice Monitoring Committee are captured in Section 470 (2) (c) and (d).

Açcording to him, the law ensures that congestion in prisons is reduced to the barest minimum and that persons awaiting trial are, as far as possible, not detained in prison.

(NAN)

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