By Amaechi Okwara
There was jubilation in Warri Medium Prison yesterday as the Chief Judge of Delta state, Justice Marshal Umukoro released 65 inmates to join in the Christmas festivity with their families.
Those released include a nursing mother of a two-month old baby who was standing trial for grievous harm.
Justice Marshal said he reviewed 3,036 remand warrants and released a total of number of 150 inmates from Agbor, Ogwashi-Uku, Kwale, Sapele and Warri Prisons in an exercise that started on November 14.
The Chief Judge ordered their release amidst jubilation on the grounds of ill health, lack of diligent prosecution by the police, offences committed not known to law, and-no-case to answer, based on legal advice from the Attorney-General of the state through the Director of Public Prosecutions.
He disclosed that the visit was pursuant to the provision of the Criminal Justice (Release from Custody Special Provision) Act Volume 4 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004 and in order to exemplify the passionate desire of the Honourable Chief Judge to decongest the prisons.
While lamenting the high number of youths wasting away in prison custody, the Chief Judge observed that most inmates found their way into prisons because they refused to live within the confines of the law and morality.
He said the majority of the inmates in custody fall within 17 and 27 years which, according to Justice Umukoro, showed gross dysfunction in our family system in the country.