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Ondo CJ pardons 8 inmates, calls for accelerated hearing

By Ayodele Popoola

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The Chief Judge of Ondo State, Justice Olusegun Odusola, has pardoned a total of eight inmates at the Female Custodial Facility Surulere, Ondo, and the Okitipupa Medium Custodial Center.

Odusola ordered the release of the inmates during a routine visit to the facilities yesterday, January 18, 2023, in Ondo and Okitipupa.

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

A total number of eight inmates were released In the visits, four inmates in Ondo and four at Okitipupa, unconditionally.

In Ondo, a 35-year-old woman, Docas Andrew, who had been standing trial for intent to defraud, and also suffering from epilepsy, was released unconditionally on health grounds.

The other three inmates released were, a 23-year-old woman, Emanah Etimi, also on  trial for almost four years; 35-year-old nursing mother, Monsurat Adeniyi Longe, standing trial for conspiracy and stealing and Bisola Adeyemo charged with stealing.

At the Okitipupa Correctional Centre, those released were, 50-year-old  Omotayo Oladele, who had been standing trial for stealing for two years, Udoh Daniel, 28, standing trial for contempt of court, Ojan Omoniyi who has been in custody for stealing and a 27-year-old bricklayer, Dele Adanlawo who was charged with robbery and having completed his jail term on unlawful escape from the prison during the ‘Endsars’ period.

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

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Odusola said inmates who would be set free are those detained for a long time, those who deserve to be released taking into consideration their health challenges and some kept unlawfully.

The CJ, therefore, urged the Magistrates to accelerate the hearing of cases, involving inmates standing trial on capital offences, so as to help in descongesting the prisons across the state.

The Chief Judge implored the released inmates to turn over a new leaf and not allow the economic situation of the country to deter them from making legitimate livelihoods.

Speaking earlier, the State Comptroller of Corrections, Mr. Jude Agboje lamented the worrisome states of the centres across the state, especially the facilities in the Okitipupa custodial centre and emphasised on his congestion.

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