From: Nosa Akenzua, Asaba
No fewer than 3,465 inmates are awaiting trials and condemned to death at various prisons in Delta state, Controller of Prisons in the state, Sam Iyakoregha has said.
Iyakoregha who spoke to Journalists on Monday in Asaba in an interview, however commended the state Governor, Dr Ifeanyi Okowa, the state Chief Judge, Justice Marshall Umukoro for practical steps taken in their respective official capacities to prune down the number of persons awaiting trials, and appealed to the ministry of Justice to always render legal opinion expeditiously to further reduce the number.
The Prison’s boss called for the review of section 15( 4) ACL to include lawyer and Justice of peace to be present when video recording of confessional statements of suspects were taken at the Police station, and not limiting it to the presence of the person of the Suspects.
He disclosed that the breakdowns of rising number of the inmates are as follows: Warri 1289, Ogwashi Uku 831, Sapele 345, Agbor 341, and Kwale 314 bringing to a total of 3,465 inmates awaiting trails and Condemned to death.
Meanwhile, the state Chief Judge, Justice Marshall Umukoro has enjoined the leadership of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), to educate its members on the need to exercise cautions while recommending sureties for the purposes of granting bail to accused persons.
Justice Umukoro who made this known in Asaba on Monday while addressing stakeholders’ in administration of Criminal Justice as a Prelude to visit Federal Prisons in the state, stated that the meeting was to appraise the Strengthen and Challenges of Administration Of Criminal Justice Law 2017, adding that the warning became necessary due to the disturbing development where sureties who suspects on bail on recommendation of legal practitioners elope when Suspects Jump bail , noting that lawyers should only recommend sureties of good standing.
He Commended the state Governor Dr Ifeanyi Okowa for magnanimously approving funds for the refreshment of all utility vehicles of Prisons in the state, disclosing that from November this year, witnesses shall begin to receive witnesses allowances as Provided by law of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as the stakeholders’’ meeting was attended by Chairmen of branches of the Nigerian Bar Association, Asaba, Agbor, Sapele, others, including Prisons Reforms Initiative, Legal Aid Council, Police, Department of state Service.