By Agbaragu Timothy, Esq.

Jubilation rend the air today (17/01/2022) as the Chief Judge of Delta State, Honourable Justice Theresa Diai discharged five inmates awaiting trial at the Warri Custodial Centre of the Nigerian Correctional Service.

Justice Diai ordered their release following legal advice of the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) disclosing that the defendants have no case to answer.

The fortunate inmates, Ejovi Daniel (29), Testimony Invoke (35), Michael Ahmed (20), Destiny Julius (29) and Nwafili Ifeanyi (39) have been in prison custody for upward of two years.

The inmates who maintained their innocence thanked the Chief Judge for her mercy and making them to regain freedom. They promised to be law abiding and be useful to the society.

The Chief Judge who arrived the Warri Custodial Centre (popularly called Okere prison) few minutes before 10 a.m to commence the quarterly visit in the year, commended the prison authority for their adequate preparation, disclosing that she was not able to embark on the visit last year due to certain circumstances.

"I welcome all of you here to this centre. There was not much done last year due to the revealing circumstance. What we are doing now is to ensure people get justice." Justice Diai stated.

She explained that the prison visit was not meant to usurp jurisdiction of the courts on cases before them, but that cases would be considered on their merit including health grounds, unjustified long detention in prison custody and want of diligent prosecution, among others.

The last visit to Custodial centres was in April, 2020 on the directive of the Federal Government in a bid to decongest prison formations across the country for the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic to check the spread of the deadly virus. 

Earlier, the Deputy Controller of Corrections of Warri Custodial Centre, Efiong Okon Etim disclosed that the total inmates in the centre to be 873 against its capacity of 307. 

He gave the breakdown as 506 awaiting trial, short term convicts 7, long term convicts 91, detainees 9, Lifers 45 and Inmates on Death Row 215 inmates. 

Expressing hope that the Chief Judge would use the auspices visit to decongest the centre by releasing some inmates, Mr. Efiong appealed to her to use her good offices to influence the State Governor to commute sentences of those on death row in the spirit of the Nigerian Correctional Service Act 2019 LFN.

He thanked the State Government for domesticating the Act and giving them assistance in the Centre in the area of drugs procurement for inmates and interventions through the Dame Edith Okowa's O'5 Initiative.

The visit will continue tomorrow.

Agbaragu Timothy, Esq.

Functioning Director,


High Court of Justice,


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