The Chief Judge of Kogi State, Justice Nasiru Ajanah has released a total number of forty-one inmates from all the six correctional centres in Kogi State to avoid the spread of COVID-19 as directed by the federal government and state government.
On Monday, a total of thirty-five inmates regained freedom from Koton-Karfi, Kabba and Okene correctional centres.
However, on Tuesday, six inmates regain freedom from Ankpa, Dekina and Idah correctional centres in Kogi East after Justice Ajanah reviewed their cases.
Justice Ajanah who first visited Dekina correctional centre said that the exercise was in line with the federal government directive to decongest correctional centres to avoid COVID-19 pandemic that is ravaging the entire world recently.
According to him “The decongestion exercise differs from the normal exercise we normally conducted annually. The reason for this particular exercise was at the instance of the directive from the federal government to all the states to decongest correctional centres to prevent the spread of the dreaded COVID-19 pandemic.
“We are here to look into some cases with minor offences or some inmates that may be sick and such sickness can be contagious to other inmates in the centres. Also, some inmates who have stayed for too long in the custodial centres as a result of minor offences without trial were also released unconditionally”.
Reviewing the case of Muhammad Isah arrested for intimidation and assault, the Chief Judge said from the explanation made by the defendant, it seems an influential person sought to oppressed another person, saying the law does not permit such act.
He, therefore, ruled that the continuous detention of the defendant at the correctional centre is unjustifiable and granted him unconditionally release.
Also at Ankpa custodial centre, Simon Onah arrested for attempted rape regain his freedom after the review of his case by the Chief Judge.
While reviewing his case Justice Ajanah said the defendant was alleged to have attempted to rape and from the story narrated by the suspect, he (defendant) was ignorant of the case levelled against him.
The Chief Judge frown that the details and the facts of the offence was not provided and therefore granted him unconditional release.
Similarly, in Idah Salihu Ibrahim who was arrested for criminal conspiracy and theft more than a month ago was released for lack of evidence against him.
Hassan Muhammad detained in Dekina correctional centre for alleged child right law, Adukwu William arrested for not being able to produce the receipt of unserviceable generator bought from a vendor and Ojochegbe Sule arrested for trespass also benefited from the decongestion of the centres.
The Chief Judge, however, handed over the money to all the released inmates to enable them to transport themselves back to their various destinations, noting that the money was from the Kogi State governor, Alhaji Yahaya Bello to ease their movement from the centres to their homes.
Justice Ajanah who donated hand sanitizer, face mask, plastic buckets and other valuables to the correctional centres, warned those released to go home and embark on meaningful ventures that would improve their standard of living and shun any negative attitude that can push them into trouble.
The Kogi State Comptroller of Nigerian Correctional Service Center, Mr Ohiakosim Malachy Chimezie in his remark commended the federal government and the state government for their initiative, assuring that the items donated to the centres would be utilized for the benefits of the inmates and the officers of the centres.