As the clamour for unbonding of the prison sector by stakeholders in the administration of justice for improved conditions heightened, the Delta State Chief Judge, Justice Marshal Umukoro has reiterated the need for the removal of prisons from the Exclusive Legislative List in the Constitution to enable states address perennial congestion challenges plaguing correctional centres across the country. 

The Chief Judge who decried inability of the Federal Correctional Centres to produce awaiting trial inmates in court due to lack of vehicles and other logistics, noted with dismay that the abnormal situation was militating against the due administration of justice.  

He advocated for the reforms in Ofuoma-Ughelli, Ughelli North Local Government Area where he inaugurated a new Magistrate's Court, describing as most despicable a situation where awaiting trial inmates spend more than five years in custody without being produced in court to face their trials.

"There is the need for more prison reforms to address the issue of prison congestion. It is my humble view that prison matters be removed from the Exclusive Legislative List to enable states to build their own Correctional Centres to take care of persons convicted of State offences and thereby decongesting the Federal Correctional Centres that are already overstretched."

He lamented the condition in Warri Correctional Centre where it housed more than 3, 000 inmates with less than five vehicles covering over 38 courts, stressing that if states were allowed to build their own correctional centres, they would be able to provide facilities for easy production of awaiting trial inmates in court to face their trials.

Justice Marshal Umukoro noted that the reason for creating the Ofuoma-Ughelli Magisterial District was not only to bring justice proximate to the people, but also to prevent recourse to self help by aggrieved parties.

While appreciating Governor Ifeanyi Okowa for his continued support to the State Judiciary to perform its constitutional duties; the traditional ruler of Ughelli Kingdom Evangelist (Dr.)Oharisi 111(JP); Olorungun Dr. Isaac Akpoveta and notable indigenes of the community for their various contributions in establishing the court, the number one Judicial Officer charged members of the Bench and Bar to work harmoniously to advance the course of justice. 

He enjoined members of the Bench to be alive to their Judicial oaths, even as he advised youths to protect the Court and other government institutions to attract more developmental projects to the community. 

The chairman of the Nigerian Bar Association, Ughelli branch, Barrister Eromonsele Scott Ayo-Okhiria said that the creation of the new Court has expanded the frontiers of practice of legal practitioners in the jurisdiction.

The president-general Ughelli Descendant Union, Olorogun Pius Akpoweve Omubaye thanked Delta State Government and the Chief Judge for bringing justice closer to the people, promising to provide conducive environment for the Court to operate. 

The Chief Judge and brother Judges later paid courtesy call to the Ovie of Ughelli Kingdom, HRM Evangelist (Dr.) Oharisi 111, JP at his Palace in Ughelli.

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