2017 Legal Year: Imo State Jurist vow to decongest prison


By: Joy Odor/Kaduna

Imo State Chief Judge, Justice Pascal Nnadi has vowed that henceforth, State Judges will now be periodically sitting in prison yards to decongest prisons.

Justice Nnadi gave the charge during a visit to Federal Prisons Owerri, State Capital, South-East, Nigeria on Friday as part of activities marking the beginning of the 2017/2018 Legal Year where the Jurist held a special court session which lasted for more than 4 hours.

The State Chief Judge enjoined the prison officials to always make available written medical records of detainees suffering from life-threatening ailments whenever Judges would visit the prisons to guide judges in considering cases before them.

He also gave various directives on matters of some detainees whose court cases had not been tried for years.

Justice Nnadi when visited the Federal Prison freed and granted bail to some prison inmates as part of activities, there will be also a church service at Maria Assumpta Cathedral Owerri to be followed by the event proper at the Paul Onumaulu Square, High Court.

Contributing,  a Legal Practitioner, Barrister Emperor Iwuala enjoined lawyers to offer free legal services to detainees, saying this would go a long way in decongesting the prisons.

However, from the records made available to newsmen during the event by the Public Relation Officer of the State High Court, Mr. Ernest Nnanabu showed that Owerri Prisons was constructed for 545 inmates but the place is currently housing 2332 inmates.

According to the record, the number of inmates awaiting trial 4, those facing minor offences 6, 18 are suffering from terminal sicknesses that are likely to terminate in death while 109 have been without trial in court for more than 5 years.

Those in attendance at the event include Justice P. C. Ikpeama, Justice N. B. Ukoha, Justice Theresa Chikeka, Justice E. F. Njemanze, and Chief Registrar High Court Owerri Mrs. I. G. Chukwunyere.

Others are High Court registrars, magistrates, representatives of the Nigerian Bar Association and law officers, Comptroller of Prisons Imo State Command Mr. Chris Okoye, prison officials, representative of Child Protection Network and members of the International Prison Chaplaincy Association of Nigeria.



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