A suspected cancer infected inmate was among 48 Prisoners released by the Chief Judge of Delta State, Justice Marshal Umukoro from Kwale and Ogwashi-Uku prisons in the ongoing prisons visit.
The elated inmate whose half face has been affected with the cancerous growth, Emmanuel Chukwudi 22, said he had been in Kwale prison since 2016 on the alleged offense of breaking/entering and stealing, which he claimed innocent.
The Chief Judge moved with pity questioned the Police for the rationale behind the continued detention of a suspect who cannot stand trial due to ill health, stating that such ones constitute unnecessary financial burden to the state.
Justice Umukoro stated that the released 48 inmates were among the 561 remand warrants reviewed from the two prisons, pointing out that their release was predicated on ill health, unjustified long detention in prison custody and want of diligent prosecution among others.
He said: “The purpose of the prison visit is to reiterate government desire to ensure that persons awaiting trials do not spend their whole lives here. We must ensure that those here are remanded by court of competent jurisdiction having allegedly committed an offence known to Law.
“We shall also look at your health status, because it is the living we shall try. We shall also look at the ages of inmates because we do not want to support or be part of the process where juveniles are brought here. If we found such person here we shall release such person or make an appropriate order for such an individual to be remanded in the remand home, Sapele,” he added.
Justice Umukoro made it clear that the exercise was not meant to throw the prison doors open for persons awaiting trial, especially those who were involved in violent crimes like kidnapping, armed robbery and rape.
He lamented the increasing number of youths between 25 to 30 years old, saying large percent of the active work force was being wasted. He attributed the dangerous trend to greed, lure of the lucre, laziness and get-rich-quickly syndrome, stating that orphanage status should not be an excuse for indulging in criminality.
The Chief Judge, who disclosed that the current prison tour was the beginning of the 2018 prison visit which was not done due to his bereavement, explained that, that of 2019 may commence in October or November.
The Chief Judge continues the prison tour with the round off in Warri prison slated for 15th and 16th April, 2019.