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Custodial visit: Hopes of 231 inmates dashed as CJ refuses them bail  

The hope of 231 inmates were dashed as none of them were released at the Kwale Custodial Centre, Ndokwa West Local Government Area of Delta State, when the State Chief Judge, Justice Theresa Diai, visited the facility.

The inmates, whose warrants were reviewed, had high expectations that they would be granted bail or released.

This would have been like nine inmates at their sister custodial centres, Warri and Sapele, who were released by the Chief Judge.

Diai said: “The reason for my visit is not to throw the prison open for all inmates to walk freely on the streets.

“My duty here is circumscribed and it is in accordance with the Criminal Justice Release from Custody Act.”

In a statement issued by Timothy Agbaragu, the Public Relations Officer of the Delta State High Court, the CJ reviewed over 400 warrants amid expectation of releases.

The Judge reiterated the need for presiding magistrates to conclude custodial matters before them within statutory time.

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

According to Magistrate Ena Adogbeji, the accused jumped bail.

“During the pendency of the bail, he was alleged to have sent a text message to his lawyer that he was dead,” Adogbeji said.

The magistrate said when he demanded from the lawyer the death certificate, he said he was awaiting issuance 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 the court.

The Chief Judge then ordered that the case be transferred to the Administrative Judge.

Also speaking, the Deputy Controller of Corrections, Warri Custodial Centre, 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 Diai’s current visit.

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