Edo Chief Judge Grants freedom to Eight awaiting trial Inmates

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Edo State Chief Judge, Justics Cromwell Idahosa granted freedom to eight inmates awaiting trial from the Oko Medium Security Prison in Benin, Edo State.

Justice Idahoza approved the release of the inmates during the visit of the Edo State Administration of Justice Committee.

Those inmates released are Isaiah ‎Michael, who was remanded for alleged armed robbery since January 10, 2009, and Mohammed Buba, having spent five years and five months in prison custody.

While Christian Ikekiaye and Festus Abukari, who had spent three years and eight months and four years and two months in prison custody for alleged armed robbery, respectively.

Others were Otamere Iyase, ‎Ali Bello, Abubakar Ali and Ajauro Unuahro, who had spent a year and six months and was said to have no case to answer.

One of the freed inmates, Buba, who spoke after his release, said that he was arrested while selling onions at the New Benin for alleged conspiracy and armed robbery and had been remanded in prison custody since April 20, 2010.

The father of two, who hails from Bornu State, however, expressed gratitude to the state government ‎for granting him freedom and said that he hoped to return to his family in the North-East.

Earlier, Cromwell decried what he described as “bloated prison cells‎” which created numerous challenges in the administration of justice in the state, noting that the prolonged nationwide strike embarked upon by the Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria contributed to the delay in the judicial system.

He also said with the number of persons on the awaiting trial list pegged at 39,577 nationwide, most prisons had become overpopulated and starved of adequate health care, sanitation and recreational facilities.

He, however, expressed hope that the new Administration of Criminal Justice Act, 2015, which was signed into law in May, would address many of the challenges faced by the judiciary and added that the new law was already being worked on by the state Ministry of Justice, in order to domesticate it in Edo.