Delta CJ Takes Bold Step To Fast Track Justice Delivery at Lower Bench

Agbaragu Timothy

Delta CJ Takes Bold Step To Fast Track Justice Delivery at Lower Bench

In a determined effort to ensuring speedy dispensation of Justice at the lower bench, the State Chief Judge Honourable Justice Tessy Diai has directed worshipful magistrates  to compile details of criminal cases in their courts and forward same to the office of the Chief Registrar in order to address the issue of delay trials as result of non reproduction of inmates to the courts.

Justice Diai gave the order during her visit to Warri Custodial Centre ( popularly known as Okere prison ) yesterday specifically to learned magistrates  covering courts  in Orogun, Bomadi and  Okpokunu in Ughelli North, Bomadi and Burutu Local Government Areas, respectively, where she discovered that most criminal cases were stagnated because inmates were not reproduced by the Warri Custodial Centre due to distance.

The Chief Judge who released two inmates from the centre while rounding off the 2023 first quarter jail delivery exercise at Warri, hinted the possibility of considering  affected magistrates sitting at a convenient location close to the centre, even as  she expressed concern over inmates held in perpetuity without trial. 

To fast track justice delivery, she charged lawyers with court assigned cases to be serious and diligent, stating that they should not only be interested in cases with pecuniary benefit.

According to her, it was inexcusable to hear that a defendant standing do not have a lawyer presentation for one year,  stressing that court has a duty to impose a lawyer on prosecution counsel.

While asking the Nigerian Bar Association to take up the matter with their members, the Chief Judge, justified few inmates released during the entire exercise to the fact that those in custody were legitimately in the centre.

" So when there is no release it means that persons here are here legitimately, and it means that their cases are going on well, " she explained.

Justice Diai asked inmates to make whatever applications in respect to their case to the sitting judge as she do not have power to take over a case that is in court, even as she reiterated that the three reasons where chief judge intervenes during visits was to make sure that every inmate was legitimately in custody, that none was there longer than period of time he would served had he been convicted and on medical ground.

Giving an overview of the visit which ended at Warri Custodial Centre, Justice Tessy Diai stated that at Sapele Custodial Centre 208 warrants of inmates were reviewed with two inmates released; 292 reviewed at Kwale  one granted bail; at Agbor out of the 237 reviewed without release; 448 warrants were reviewed at Ogwashi-Uku while one person was set free; and in Warri 669 reviewed with two inmates released. 

The Chief Judge appreciated the deputy controller for his hospitality, brother judges, magistrates, Director of Public Prosecutions and her team, the police for their support during the exercise.

In a welcome address, the deputy controller of Corrections, DCC, Warri Custodial Centre Mr. Edo Joseph Lucky expressed hope that the visit of the Chief Judge would result in freedom for deserving inmates.

While thanking the Chief Judge for finding time out of her tight schedule to visit prison facilities across the state, the DCC disclosed that as at May 2, 2023 the Warri centre has a lock up of 1012 comprising of 439 convicts  and 573 awaiting trial inmates.

Agbaragu Timothy

Functioning Director,


High Court of Justice,


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