Delta State Chief Judge, Hon. Justice Marshal Umukoro has rounded off the first quarter of Federal Prison formations visits in the State at Ogwashi-Uku Prison with the discharge of 80 inmates, while granting bail to 44.
The Chief Judge who reviewed 2,770 warrants of inmates awaiting trial during the exercise in Sapele, Warri, Kwale, Agbor and Ogwashi-Uku Prisons, also have five inmates transferred to Benin for medical treatment.
Hon. Justice Umukoro who reiterated that the purpose of the visit was not to throw the prison gates open for inmates, stated that the exercise was to find out among other things whether trial of accused persons was going on, have overstayed in custody, and to guarantee their fundamental human rights.
He commended Judicial Officers in the State for their hard work in ensuring speedy trial of accused persons brought before them, even as he enjoined members of the Bar and claimants to ensure speedy dispensation of cases by going to Court to give evidence in support of their applications.
According to him, “it is one thing to report cases to the Police; another thing is for you to prepare to go to Court and give evidence in support of the application”.
He charged members of Nigerian Bar Association to uphold the ethics of the profession by ensuring that defence of clients was properly laid before the court.
In a welcome address, the Deputy Controller, Ogwashi-Uku Prisons, Frank Okonkwo, appealed to the State Chief Judge to use his good offices to facilitate provision of more vehicles for convening accused persons in court and to build additional cell blocks to accommodate more inmates, as the present facility was overstretched beyond its capacity.
Some of the inmates released thanked the chief Judge and the State Government for giving them another opportunity to live a normal life, promising not to return to their bad ways.
Meanwhile, the Delta State Chief Judge Hon. Justice Marshal Umukoro has decried the astronomical increase of the number of youths in prison custody and Remand Home in the State, noting that it was the resultant effect of decline in moral values in the Society.
The Chief Judge who rounded off the First Quarter of visit to Federal prison formations in the State at Ogwashi-Uku Prison, disclosed that he was shocked to find out that of the 2770 warrants of those awaiting trial examined in the five prison formations and one Remand Home in the State, 80 percent were inmates who are in the demographic category between 17years old and 32, lamenting that it potent great danger to the future career of our children.
Hon Justice Umukoro states “if you look at the demographic category of the inmates, they are age between 17 and 32years old, and that is a critical time in every person’s life to pursue a career”.
He observed that if parents take proper care of their children, many of them would be removed from the streets, adding that the consequence, of abandoning children was that they fall back to the other side of society where the in-thing is crime, warning, “if we do not take proper care of them, our own children whom we have paid through our nose to train would endanger even our own lives”.
The Chief Judge urged everyone to preach strong family values to reverse the dangerous trend, stressing that if children were not taken care of, they will constitute a menace to the society.