From Jefferson Ibiwale, Benin
The Edo State Chief Judge, Justice Cromwell Idahosa, has warned defense counsels against unnecessary adjournment of cases without genuine reasons.
Idahosa gave the warning in Benin when he visited prison facilities in Oko, Auchi, Ubiaja and Benin central, where he freed a total of 21 inmates on the awaiting trial list.
A breakdown of the figure shows that six were discharged in Oko Prison, five in Benin Central Prison, one in Ubiaja and nine in Auchi Prison.
Those released either had missing case files, justice delayed, poor health or had been remanded in prison custody in error.
“Stop unnecessary adjournment that will lead to delay of justice, your duty as a lawyer is to do your best while defending your client and not to win at all course,” the Chief Judge cautioned.
He also directed that a Nigerien kidnap suspect, Badamusi Sanni, be handed over to authorities of the Nigerian Immigration Service for immediate deportation to his country.
Sanni was charged with unlawful kidnap and had spent five years and six months in prison custody, during which time he learnt how to speak and write English language.
Five others also discharged at Oko Prisons were John Sunday, Paul Edokpolor, Ndubisi Okoh, Kingsley Bassey and Friday Edobor.
Among inmates who regained their freedom at Benin Central Prisons was one Edokpolor who had spent 16 years and eight months in prison custody. He was freed on health grounds.
Three women discharged by the Chief Judge were charged with murder and had been imprisoned for between seven and eight years.
One of them named Momodu allegedly killed her mother and her father who was the only witness and complainant who would have testified against her had died.
Earlier, the deputy controllers of Oko and Benin Central prisons, Friday Ovie and Solomon Airiohuodion respectively, said the issue of inmates’ treatment at the state-owned hospital was a great concern to the prison authorities, adding that the hospital often charged money for treatment of prison inmates.
They pleaded with the Chief Judge to appeal to the state health ommissioner for a waiver since most of the prisoners are indigenes of the state.