Wednesday, July 25, 2018 8:03 am
Gbenro Adesina/ Ibadan
The Chief Judge of Oyo State, Justice Muntar Abimbola, who paid a visit to the Agodi Prison, Ibadan, today in a session that lasted about seven hours released 30 inmates. Among the released inmates were two females.
Speaking, Justice Abimbola stated that occasional visit to the prison with the aim of releasing some inmates was part of his constitutional rights that will always be exercise with care adding that the exercise is aimed at decongesting the prison.
In his entourage to the prison were: top judicial officers, prison officials, officials of the directorate of public prosecution, lawyers, prosecutors, non-government organisations, the police and officials of the Nigerian Bar Association.
According to him, “25 inmates were released unconditionally and on the grounds that they have stayed so long through the trial process. One inmate was released on legal advice by the DPP. Another inmate was released to be taken to remand home because he is a juvenile/child offender, so we do not want him to be merged together with the adult offenders. Three were released on bail to continue their case in court. One was released and the NDLEA should be on his track. That is how far we can go, but because of the number of enormous cases before us, we agreed to come back in two weeks”.
Earlier, in his welcome address, the Controller of Prison, Oyo state Command, Akinrujomu Tosin appreciated the CJ for “coming to perform one of his constitutional duties and decongest the facility by facilitating speedy hearings and justice for cases stalled or that are taking too long in the court of law”.
Noting that the prisons had been having challenges with the facilities as a result of overstretching of the facilities, the controller said the facility presently have 1,115 inmates with 945 awaiting trials (male) and 15 females awaiting trials as against the 390 it was built to accommodate since the colonial era.
He said the gesture of the CJ is not only beneficial to the Prison Service but also to the inmates awaiting trials who the law presumed innocent until proven otherwise saying “it will aid then to quickly move on with their lives if speedily acquitted and if otherwise, accept their sentences and fully benefit from rehabilitation, germane to the leadership of the Service.”