Wednesday, 24 July 2013

The Smell Of Freedom: 51 Prisoners Released

Reprieve has come the way of 51 awaiting trial inmates at the five prison formations across the three senatorial districts of Ogun state as the state Chief Judge, Justice Tokunbo Olopade granted amnesty to the inmates in a bid to decongest the prisons in the state.

Justice Olopade while addressing newsmen disclosed that 25 inmates were set free at the Ibara Prison in Abeokuta, eight at Ijebu-Ode, one in Sagamu prison, four in Ilaro in Yewa South local government and 13 in Oba prison in Obafemi -Owode local government area of the state.
She further said that the prisoners found themselves in prison custody either as a result of being victims of awaiting trial cases or having no witness to stand against them in their cases, adding that some of the freed prisoners had no case file from the Police to the Ministry of Justice, which according to her often affected provision of appropriate legal advice for them.
According to her, those granted amnesty by the Chief Judge is that, majority of them had spent between three to five years in the prison yard without any trial while the case files of some of them is no where to be found.
“It is a quarterly exercise in line with the constitutional provisions and we hope those that have been released will go back into the society to reintegrate themselves responsibly.”
“There is the need for the judiciary to work harder in order to ensure that old cases are quickly dispensed off, especially with those of 2010 and 2011 whose files are yet to be treated.
All those old cases that have been identified would be sought after and dispense away within due time. “By October this year, all old cases would have been done away with.
The magistrate and the Directorate of Public Prosecution are doing fine but, they must not rest on their oars. The majority of the inmates that were set free by the Chief Judge of Ogun State, Justice Olopade in the course of the visit were male.
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