The joy of 34 inmates in Delta State knew no bounds, as the Chief Judge of Delta, Justice Marshal Umukoro, has ordered the release of 34 awaiting-trial inmates from the Sapele Prison, following his recent routine visit.
A statement signed by the Public Relations Officer (PRO) of the State High Court, Mr. Timothy Agbaragu, disclosed this on Wednesday in Asaba.
The judge, after releasing the inmates commended the humane gesture of the state Governor, Ifeanyi Okowa.
Reports have it that the 34 inmates made it a total of 112 inmates released so far in the state across three prisons.
Umukoro said the Governor had released the sum of N7.4 million to offset fines imposed on the convicted inmates.
He said that it would help in decongesting prisons across the state, and enjoined other states to emulate the gesture.
He described as worrisome, the current trend where youths – between the ages of 15 to 21- were involved in capital offences.
He appealed to parents and faith-based organisations to make it a responsibility to imbibe moral values and discipline in the younger generation.
He noted that those who were supposed to be future leaders were rotting away in custody due to broken homes, greed, and decline in moral values.
The chief judge advised complainants to make themselves available when summoned to testify on oath as required by law, saying that speedy trials could be frustrated when witnesses failed to show up in court.
Presenting the statistics of the inmates in the Sapele Prison, the Deputy Comptroller of the Prison, Ejekhine Ahmed, said that out of 314 inmates, 125 were involved in armed robbery, 50 in robbery, 61 in murder cases while 125 were convicted.
He said that 310 males were involved in the cases while others were females.
He said that the number of inmates reduced from 462 to 314 after the chief judge’s visit. He said payment of fines of convicts by the state governor and the cooperation of judges and magistrates greatly reduced the number of inmates in the prison.
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