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Amnesty: Ondo CJ pardons 12 inmates

By Ayodele Popoola

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As part of efforts to decongest the Correctional Centres across Ondo State, the Chief Judge of the state, Justice Olusegun Odusola, has again granted amnesty to 12 inmates standing trial for various offences at the Security Custodial Centre in Owo.

Odusola ordered the release of the inmates during a routine visit to the Owo facility on Wednesday.

Recall the Chief Judge last week pardoned eight inmates in Ondo and Okitipupa Custodial Centres, making a total of 20 inmates released in the state.

The inmates were released unconditionally  for lack of diligent prosecution on the part of the Department of Public Prosecutions (DPP) of the Ondo State Ministry of Justice, The Hope Metro reports.

Those also pardoned were; a 35-year-old man, Godwin Stephen, who had been standing trial for three years and three months over burglary and stealing; Olajide Oluwaniyi, 35, standing trial for cultism for over two years; Ajayi Shittu, 37, for stealing and Olorunduyilami Abayomi, 23, standing trial for attempt to kill.

Other inmates released were; 51-year-old Eze Friday, also on trial for almost four years for defilement, Moses Odey, 23, standing trial over cultism; a 42-year-old hunter, Ismaila Ojo, facing a murder charge; Friday Emmanuel,29, standing trial for unlawful carnal knowledge, Seun Ologunagba, Peter John, Lohman Dakati, 23, and Shuaibu Wisdom, 29, all charged for stealing.

The CJ reiterated the need to decongest prisons made it imperative to release some inmates who had been in custody for many years without trials.

Odusola said the visit is to review some cases of human rights abuse and also to inspect the general condition of the centres.

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He noted that those released were inmates detained unlawfully for a long time for lack of diligent prosecution either from the court or the DPP.

The CJ, therefore, lamented the gory state of some of the correctional centres across the state, especially the Okitipupa Centre, while he also advised the authority of the centre to take the necessary steps to ensure the rehabiltitaion of the centres.

The Chief Judge, therefore, implored the released inmates to turn over a new leaf and as well keep away from all the appearances of crime that could lead them back to the centre.

In his remark, the State Comptroller of Corrections, Mr. Jude Agboje, appreciated the Chief Judge and his team for taking his time to address critical issues of custodial congestion.

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