Ebonyi state Chief Judge
Abakaliki, April 28, 2020 (NAN) Justice Anselem Nwigwe, Chief Judge of Ebonyi has granted freedom to 20 inmates of the Abakaliki Custodial Centre.
The inmates were freed during a jail delivery exercise embarked by the CJ on Tuesday in Abakaliki.
Nwigwe in a brief remark noted that the jail delivery exercise was part of efforts to decongest correctional service centres in view of the ravaging Coronavirus pandemic.
He said that 14 awaiting trial inmates were granted conditional bail, while four were granted bail on self-recognisance and two inmates were discharged.
“We have released 20 inmates; 14 of them were granted conditional bail and will leave the facility once the fulfil the bail conditions.
“We granted bail to four on self cognisance because while two have been discharge.
“The exercise is to complete state government’s efforts in the fight to curb spread of the COVID-19 ravaging the country.
“We have adjourned to continue on Wednesday,May 6.
Gov. Dave Umahi
“The exercise is continues one to decongest custodial centre to enhance social distancing among the inmates,” Nwigwe said.
Meanwhile, Mrs Emelia Oputa, Controller of Correctional Services (CCS), Ebonyi Command has commended the exercise.
She said the initiative was part of nationwide consideration to decongest custodial centers.
She said the exercise became imperative due to the congestion in most of the correctional facilities and need to create room for social distancing due to pandemic.
“The exercise is in consideration of the need for the inmates who are part of the society to distance due to the pandemic.
“The jail delivery has given opportunity to those who ordinarily wouldn’t have gone to gain freedom.
“The exercise is helping to decongest the facility because as at two months ago we had about 1200 inmates but this morning we locked 1056 inmates.
“The exercise today has further decongested the yard with the release of additional 20 inmates.
“Also we are not receiving fresh inmates because there is lockdown in the custodial centers due to ravaging pandemic,” Oputa said.
Summitnews gathered that only awaiting trial inmates who have minor offenses or special consideration were released