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Lagos Chief Judge Frees 75 Inmates from Kirikiri Prison

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The Lagos State Chief Judge, Justice Ayotunde Phillips, yesterday freed 75 prisons inmates of the Kirikiri prisons.

Seventy-one of the inmates were released from the medium section of the prison, three from maximum and one from the female prisons.

Majority of the inmates who were set free by the chief judge were still awaiting trial prior to the favour granted them. Justice Phillips ordered their release pursuant to the powers conferred on her under Section 1(1) of the Criminal Justice Release from Custody Act, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2007.

She admonished the inmates to be of good behaviour and shun crime  for them not to return to prison. Welcoming the Chief Judge, the Deputy Comptroller of the Kirikiri Maximum Prison, Mr. Olu Tinuoye, said Justice Phillips’ administation had significantly reduced the number of awaiting trial inmates in the prisons.

While also thanking the chief judge for her efforts in decongesting the prisons, the Deputy Commissioner of Prison in charge of the Kirikiri female prisons, Mrs. Leticia Isioma Onwuli, lamented the poor state of health facilities in the prison.

Onwuli said the Kirikiri female prison clinic located within the prison facility currently lack adequate equipment to deal with the increasing challenge of female inmates especially the pregnant inmates. She noted that the prison female clinic lack the necessary equipment to deal with the health challenges of the inmates especially pregnant ones.

The DCP said the Kirikiri female prison facility currently have 205 inmates  of which 170 are awaiting trial, 32 convicted, two condemned, one lifer, Eight pregnant women and nine mothers with babies.

She pleaded with the chief judge to use her office to appeal to the state government to provide rebate for female inmates who are referred to the general hospital for treatment.

Chairman of the Lagos Prison Decongestion Committee, Justice Oluwatoyin Ipaye, said the release of inmates who have no reason to be in prison would continue even when the chief judge has retired.

According to her, the offences of the freed inmates were non-capital offence and they had been in custody longer than the period they would have stayed if they were convicted.

Ill-health Compels Court to Adjourn Nnamani’s Trial to November 3
A Federal High Court in Lagos again yesterday adjourned till November 3, the trial of former Enugu State Governor, Dr. Chimaroke Nnamani, for money laundering.

Nnamani was charged by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) alongside seven others on 105-count of money laundering.
The other accused are: Sunday Anyaogu, Rainbownet (Nig) Ltd, Hillgate (Nig) Ltd, Cosmos Fm, Capital City Automobile (Nig) Ltd, Renaissance University Teaching Hospital and Mea Mater Elizabeth High School.

At the resumed hearing of the case, counsel representing the former governor, Mr Oluyele Deleano (SAN), prayed the court for another adjournment on the grounds of ill-health of the accused.

He informed the court that his client was still unfit to go through the rigours of trial due to the fact that he had just undergone a Quadriple by-pass (open heart surgery), which had recently caused him chronic chest pain.

Deleano told the court that although there was relative success with regards to the surgery, the accused has had to embark on a slow and tedious recovery process, and had suffered setbacks in his health.

He told the court that a recent medical analysis revealed that the for governor’s chronic chest pain might be as a result of his body’s non-tolerance to the “pace maker” which had been installed in his heart.

He stressed that it was important for his client to be in good health, so as to be able to vigorously defend the criminal allegations preferred against him, adding that a corpse cannot stand trial.

He, therefore, urged the court, to grant an adjournment, bearing in mind the need for justice to be seen by all as done, and that the accused is not prejudiced in his ability to defend the suit.

In response, the prosecutor, Mr. Kevin Uzozie, raised a sole issue for determination as to whether the accused was capable of understanding court proceedings in spite of his illness.

He enjoined the court to exercise its discretion in determining whether or not to grant an adjournment, adding that the court must also be mindful of the fact that the case had lingered since 2007.

Justice Mohammed Yunusa in a short ruling, adjourned the case to November 3 for trial.

The judge held that ill-health was an important issue in any criminal trial, especially where the organ affected was the heart.

He held that a physical assessment of the accused revealed that he was unfit to stand trial, adding that the law was not intended to cause more harm to an accused.

Article Credit: Thisdaylive

Updated 4 Years ago

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