Okowa intervenes as 2,153 inmates await trial in Delta



WORRIED that no fewer than 2,153 inmates, between ages 17 and 28 years, are presently awaiting trials in various prisons in Delta State, Governor Ifeanyi Okowa has promised to work with the judiciary towards speedy dispensation of justice.

In another development, the Chief Judge of Lagos State, Oluwafunmilayo Atilade, also yesterday freed from the Kirikiri Medium Prisons 21 inmates who have already spent more time than they would have if they had been convicted for the crimes being charged with.

The Kirikiri Medium Prisons has 1,700-inmate capacity and presently has 2,452 inmates, 92 of whom have been convicted, 2349 awaiting trial, 32 are detainees and 21 are lodgers.

Speaking yesterday when the Chief Judge, Marshall Umukoro, led a team of the state’s judiciary on a visit to his office, Okowa decried the large number of awaiting trials in Nigerian prisons and called for speedy completion of cases to decongest the prisons.

He told the judges that his administration would ensure effective partnership among the three arms of government to impact positively on the indigenes. He said: “It is very unfortunate that we have a large number of persons awaiting trial in our prisons.

“I wish to call for speedy trial of cases to reduce the number, and we will find a way to work with you (judiciary) to rehabilitate those released during prison visits by engaging and training them through our job creation committee. But it is also important that they have a new mindset to reintegrate into the society.”

Commending the judges for their integrity in the dispensation of justice, the governor charged them to continue being fair and just in their actions as people look up to them as role models. He further promised to look into their requests and provide enabling environment for them to function efficiently.

Umukoro had earlier called for synergy on the rehabilitation and re-integration of those he would likely release during his planned visit to the prisons.

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