Aguata and Nnewi Prisons: Anambra Chief Judge grants bail to 41 inmates

Aguata and Nnewi Prisons got the attention of the Chief Judge of Anambra state, Hon Justice Peter N.C Umeadi and he granted bail to a total of 28 persons in Aguata and Nnewi Prisons.

He had earlier granted bail to 13 Onitsha prison inmates thus bringing the number to 41 prison inmates granted bail in Nnewi, Aguata and Onitsha prisons.

Nnewi Prisons got 15 granted bail while Aguata Prisons got 13 inmates and Onitsha prisons got 13 as well, making it 41 inmates freed by Justice Umeadi. It is remaining Awka prisons to be complete.

He granted them bail during his first quarter of 2019 jail delivery/Prison visit at the three Prisons weekend.

Umeadi granted bail to fifteen (15) inmates at Nnewi Prisons who have spent between two to five years awaiting trial in the prison.

Out of the fifteen inmates that regained freedom, four were female brought from the Onitsha prisons.

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The Chief Judge as well ordered for investigations into eleven inmates’ cases and files which should be completed within fourteen days.

At Ekwulobia , the state Chief Judge, Justice Peter Umeadi granted bail to thirteen (13) inmates who have stayed between three months to five years awaiting trial at the Aguata Prisons.

Out of the thirteen inmates that regained their freedom, two were under aged who were between the ages of twelve and fourteen, charged for stealing of master’s money and kidnap related issues respectively.

Justice Umeadi commended the lawyers, magistrates, the Police, Directorate of Public Prosecution and Prison officials who were present at the court session for their cooperation.

He said that has enabled the actualization of the primary aim of the jail delivery exercise which he said remains giving voice to the voiceless and decongesting the prisons.

The Chief Judge reminded prisons officials that prisons are not meant for the under aged as it poses enormous danger on their future and destinies.

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Justice Umeadi further cautioned those in charge of bail against collection of bail bond, describing the act as illegal and criminal act, as according to him bail bond are not meant to be paid.

He said the quarterly interventions in prisons is necessary as it helps in looking at cases of persons who have spent long time behind bars, to see what could be done to grant them bail, thereby decongesting the prisons.

In an interview, the state Controller of Prisons, Barrister Emmanuel Nwakeze commended Justice Umeadi for the intervention which he said will go a long way in decongesting the state’s prisons.

Reacting to the inmates’ welfare, Barrister Nwakeze noted that the managements of the prisons prioritize the prisoners’ wellbeing as according to him, they are well fed and taught skills that will make them self-reliant when discharged.

He however called on those that gained bail to be law abiding as they are re-integrated to the society. He urged them to desist from crime and criminality so as not to find themselves back to the prisons afterwards.

 Contributing, the Assistant Controller of Prisons in charge of Aguata Prisons Mr. Ubenyi Patrick assured quick discharge of the bailed inmates.

Meanwhile, the Chief Judge of Anambra state, Hon Justice Peter N.C Umeadi had earlier granted bail to 13 Onitsha prison inmates.

The beneficiaries have stayed a minimum of three years in awaiting trials at the prison. Other beneficiaries were based on health challenge and old age.

Those granted bail from Onitsha Prisons included Tochukwu Obika , 6  years in awaiting trial for armed robbery and possession of firearm; Ikechukwu Okoro 5 years for armed robbery; Clement Ofoke and Akachukwu Egba for conspiracy and murder 5 years 10 months; Okechukwu Opene 5 years and 10 months for kidnapping.

Others were Mohammed Nwaguode 5 years for burglary; Chukwuka Okoye 5 years , 9 months for rape ; Ndubuisi Nwokorie 5 years , 8 months for Manslaughter via road traffic offense; and Ebuka Nwankwo 5 years and 3 months for armed robbery.

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There were three Psychiatric cases out of the twelve in Onitsha Prison that were granted bail and the Welfare officer of the prison, Obiagazie Rita was ordered by the Chief Judge to facilitate their integration with the families so that they can assist in proffering solution to their health challenge. They include Uchechukwu Nwankwo 6 years , 11 months ; Sunday Oranyelu from Abba Nsugbe 5 years , 6 months for Murder even as he is suffering from Schizophrenia and Tobenna Maduabum 5 years and 11 months for murder.

He referred the cases of some of the female inmates back to the regular courts to either seek for bail or continue the matter since some of them have advanced while some others were stepped down to Awka Jail Delivery for attention.

Most of the female inmates had cases of Murder including Ifeoma Arinze , Florence Mego and Ifeoma Chukwuma Onyenweife.

While Chinazaekpere Onwuasoanya who was carrying a 4 months old baby was charged for armed robbery and Jacinta Mmanwoke for conspiracy and child stealing was granted bail.

85 year old woman already 8 months in jail charged for child stealing and later changed for kidnapping , Madam Omeogo Ifejiaka who was remanded with her grandson was not granted bail as Chief Ikenna Egbuna ,SAN raised objections for her bail demand from her counsel , Francis Ossai an d Chief Judge referred them back to regular court to seek for bail.

Ifeoma Uzor and husband Peter Uzor and family had their case referred back to the regular court for continuation  as well as Princess Anuri Sada, though F.A Ntefe tried everything he could to get her bail from the Chief Judge but he asked him to put up an application to restore her bail from the regular court.

Most of the inmates granted bail by the order of the Chief Judge would be delivered either to their traditional ruler or Town Union President, Councillor and the likes since they claimed they have nobody to affect their bails whereas those who have somebody hard specific orders from the Chief Judge for their bails to be undertaken by those mentioned.

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The Chief Judge was worried that most cases of 2013 had their case files from DPP missing and without information about why they were dumped in jail without trial.

Justice Umeadi accompanied by no fewer than 12 Judges informed that the essence of the jail delivery was to decongest the prison for better justice delivery.

The Anambra state Chief Judge described the synergy between his office, other officials of the Judiciary including the other judges, Magistrates and lawyers, the police ,the Prison and every other aspect of the society concerned with justice delivery as good perfect in a democracy for a better society.

Confirming the statement from the Prison medical doctor and Deputy Comptroller of Prison , Dr Uzor Frank that 12 inmates are confirmed Psychiatric patients, the Comptroller of Prisons Anambra state, Barr Emmanuel Nwakaeze described the prison visit by the Chief Judge as apt , expressing gratitude that the prison is further decongest for better justice delivery in the state.

Barr Nwakaeze informed that through his instrumentality and partnership Legal Aid Council of Nigeria, Nigeria Bar Association (NBA) and International Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA) among other groups as well as the Chief Judge’s jail delivery have impacted positively for better life for the inmates.

He said a multimillion workshop has been built by the Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Onitsha , Most Reverend Valeria Okeke is being equipped by him too while spirited individuals too have donated in one form or the other for the good of the prison inmates. He informed that Governor Willie Obiano donated a vehicle and transformer at Agauta Prisons recently.

He said 2007 inmates were currently the number of inmates in prisons across Anambra now against the heavy number of inmates in the past.

Deputy Comptroller of Prisons Onitsha , DCP Mazi Henry thanked God for the gift of life and health that made the jail delivery possible and assured that they would continue to do their best for the inmates.

The Nigerian police lawyers including its Prosecutor , DSP P.A Emenike with others and a team from Directorate of Public Prosecutions (DPP) were fully represented.