The hope of inmates of the Warri Custodial Center (a.k.a Okere prison) was dashed as the Chief Judge of Delta state, Honourable Justice Tessy Diai did not release any on the first day of her jail delivery exercise which commenced yesterday (18/10/2022).

The Chief Judge who reviewed over 400 warrants amid the expectation of releases reiterated the need for presiding magistrates to conclude custodial matters before them within the statutory time.

Flanked by judges at the visit, the Chief Judge thanked judges of the High Court of Justice, staff of the Ministry of Justice, the Chief Registrar, and everyone for their patience and support during the day, saying that the exercise would continue today (19/10/2022). 

One of the cases reviewed was that of a 34 years old Osas Ebhota who is in custody on allegations of stealing and conspiracy.

According to the presiding Magistrate, Ena Adogbeji Odjugo of Magistrate Court 1 Effurun, the accused jumped bail. And during the pendency of the bail, he was alleged to have sent a text message to his lawyer that he was dead.

The learned Magistrate continued that when the lawyer showed him the text message he demanded the death certificate of the "deceased" issued by the National Population Commission. 

He narrated that while they were awaiting the death certificate, the purported dead accused person was seen somewhere and was rearrested and brought to court. The Chief Judge then ordered that the case be transferred to the Administrative Judge.

Earlier in his welcome speech, the Deputy Controller of Corrections (DCC), Warri Custodial Center, Edo Joseph Lucky asserted that there had been accelerated hearing of matters in the courts since the last visit of the Chief Judge in May.

The DCC expressed the hope that some of the inmates with the Center would regain freedom during her current visit.

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