The Chief Judge of Cross River State, Hon. Justice Michael Edem, in the exercise of his constitutional duties has visited Calabar Prisons and ordered the release 124 awaiting trial inmates with lesser offences.
The Chief Judge said the order for the release was constitutionally done based on merit as majority of beneficiaries of the gesture were released on health ground and under-age.
A statement by Effanga Etim (ASP1)
Command Prison Public Relations Officer,
Cross River State said “Those on medical ground were certified by the command Medical personnel, Dr. Etinan Ndon”.
The Controller of Prisons, Mr. Imaikop Jimmy Ndaekong commended the Chief Judge for his efforts and concern to the welfare of prison inmates in the state.
In attendance were the Controller of Prisons, Cross River State Command; DCP Godwin Onokohwomono, the officer in charge of Calabar Prisons; the Medical personnel, DCP Etinan Ndon; the officer in charge of welfare, DCP A.B. Odey and other members of the State judiciary.
Also, the Chief Judge of Anambra State, Justice Peter Umeadi in exercise of his judicial powers has granted bail to forty one and discharged three awaiting trial inmates during the goal delivery exercise conducted in all the prisons in the state recently.
This came as a response to the several appeals to him to assist in decongesting the prisons by the Controller of Prisons Anambra State, Barr. Nwakeze Emmanuel.
The goal delivery witnessed the release of awaiting trial inmates who due to lack of diligent prosecution has been in custody for years.
Some have even stayed beyond what could have been their maximum sentence, have they been convicted of the charge against them.
Others who benefited from the exercise included the juvenile, sick, aged, females and the mentally unstable.
One of the mentally unstable inmates in Aguata prison, who was among those released on bail Mr. Tobias Mbaekwe (55) appealed to the CJ to protect him from over thirty one (31) of his kinsmen, who he said are his enemies plotting to kill him and take over his father’s landed property.
The Chief Judge after pronouncing his bail ordered the Assistant Controller of Prisons in charge Aguata Prison and the DPO Aguata Police Division to take him and hand him over to the DPO Ozubulu (his home town), who he also ordered to take him to his father’s house and to warn his kinsmen not to attack him as any one of his kinsmen who violates the order will face the law squarely.
Tobias, who was visibly happy, expressed same by thanking the Chief Judge immensely for his magnanimity in releasing him as well as ordering for his protection.
He also thanked the Controller of Prisons (who was present at the session), the Assistant Controller of Prisons and other prison staff for keeping him in humane custody while it lasted.
The exercise which lasted for four days saw the release on bail of 16 inmates and another 3 discharged from Onitsha, 7 from Awka, 9 from Aguata and 9 from Nnewi Prisons.
The Chief Judge concluding the exercise on the last day at Awka Prison thanked the prison authority for their assistance in making the exercise hitch free.
In his response, the Controller of Prisons Barr. Nwakeze appreciated the Chief Judge for a promise fulfilled and prayed him to make it a more regular exercise with a view to get more of the inmates who deserves freedom to get same.
He admonished the freed inmates to be good citizens and desist from crime and occasions of crime in future.
ASP Ekezie Francis,
Command Prisons Public Relations Officer, NPS, Anambra State.