SUNNY DAVID, ONITSHA
Anambra State Chief Judge, Justice Ijem Onwuamaegbu, has discharged and acquitted twelve inmates and granted bail to eight others.
She made this when she visited the Nigerian Prisons Onitsha as she begins her 2019 Jail delivery exercise.
Our correspondent reports that at the commencement of the court proceedings, Justice Onwuamaegbu, who was accompanied by eight other judges, looked into the cases of those inmates who have been awaiting trial for long, as well as the sick, juvenile and women.
A total of twenty seven cases were treated at the end of the exercise and seven others whose trials have already started in courts were asked to continue with their cases.
Among those discharged and acquitted was one Mohammed from Adamawa state, who had been in prison for six years and three months without trial.
Ikechukwu Uwadiegwu from Nando, who was sentenced to one month in jail in 2013 but had remained in the prison till 2019, was also released, just as Chukwuebuka Okonkwo from Nri.
Others discharged and acquitted were, Arinze Mmaduagwu from Imo State, a nineteen year old Udoka Oguejiofor from Awka-Etiti, and Nnenna Agom, from Obosi, among others.
At the end of the exercise, Justice Onwuamaegbu told newsmen that the exercise was to decongest the prisons, and particularly to ensure that those inmates who have long been awaiting trial received fair hearing.
She advocated that jail delivery service be carried out three times a year, instead of once annually, in order to drastically reduce the number of inmates who have overstayed the prescribed number of years for their alleged offences, yet without trials.
The Anambra state comptroller of prisons, Mr. Nwakeze extolled the exercise for decongesting the prisons, as well as giving justice to inmates who have nobody to speak for them.
Mr. Nwakeze called for sound and moral up-bringing of children and wards, to reduce the high level of youth involvement in crime.