The Chief Judge of Edo, Justice (Mrs) Esther Edigin on Monday ordered the release of 11 inmates from Oko Medium Security Correctional Centre, in Benin.
This happened during Justice Edigin maiden visit to correctional centres since she was sworn-in as Edo State Chief Judge November, last year.
She noted, ” My visit is germane being part of urgent measures taken by stakeholders, especially in the Administration of Criminal Justice System, to ensure speedy decongestion of correctional centres, in view to the ravaging global Covid-19 pandemic.”
Justice Edigin noted that the inmates were discharged and released unconditionally.
Some of the inmates were, however, charged for conspiracy of armed robbery, breach of peace, operating illegal brothel, conduct likely to cause breach of peace, and conspiracy.
The inmates are a 42-year-old woman Angela Omieh, Patrick Odigie, Adoru Okwudili, Uchenna Obiako, Dennis Agbonkoonkon, Joseph Aniete, Philip Capele, Manaseh Gboko, Ayoba Stephen, Samson Alao, and Benjamin Simeon.
The only woman, Omieh, released on health grounds, was accused of impersonating Nigerian Army and had spent five months and five days.
The other inmates were discharged and released unconditionally based on health grounds, some because they had spent more than the punishment provided if sentenced and others ‘No case files’.
On his part, the Deputy Controller of Oko Security Custodial Centre, Mr. Godwin Evboeruan, urged the Chief Judge to use her office to prevail on Gov. Godwin Obaseki to grant waiver to inmates to be treated free of charge in state owned hospitals.
He noted that most of the inmates in the correctional centres were indigents.