After spending two years awaiting trial, without information from the Prosecution, one Arinze Nwankwo, aged twenty-four, was set free yesterday by the Anambra State Chief Judge, Justice Onochie Anyachebelu, as he concludes his jail delivery exercise with a visit to the Nigerian Correctional Service, Awka Custodial Centre.
Mr Nwankwo, who hails from Achalla in Awka North Local Government Area of Anambra State pleaded not guilty to allegation of stealing preferred against him, adding that he was an iron bender when he was arrested, after which the court discharged and acquitted him of the offence.
The court also discharged and acquitted a seventy-two years old Joel Nwankwo from Nibo for allegation of defilement of a minor, as well as granted the prayer of one murder suspect, Chinedu Emmanuel Nnalue, for a downward review of his bail conditions, having spent six years in detention, and ordered that his matter continues at the regular court, among other cases.
Justice Anyachebelu had, days back at the Nigerian Correctional Service, Medium Security Custodial Centre, Nnewi, granted bail to one Chikwado Ikwueze, a mentally challenged inmate with six years in detention, as well as one Okwudili Mbanusi and Justin John, who have been in detention for years following their inability to perfect bail conditions.
At the Medium Security Custodial Callentre Ekwulobia, Justice Anyachebelu also set free three other inmates after entertaining cases that border on murder, attempted murder, armed robbery, burglary, among others, while at the Medium Security Custodial Centre, Onitsha, eight others were set free, with over twenty granted bail.
In his remark before court session at the Awka facility, Justice Anyachebelu said besides decongesting Correctional centres in the State, the jail delivery exercise is aimed at ensuring speedy justice for prison inmates, complainants and the society at large.
Deputy Comptroller of Correctional centre Awka, Mr Echezona Okonkwo, who commended the exercise, said inmates at the facility are being exposed to various skills acquisition programmes, urging those who have regained freedom to mend their ways and be useful to the society.
The jail delivery exercise is part of activities to mark the 2021/2022 Legal year ceremonies, and is aimed at giving priorities to people who have spent long time in detention, women, inmates with medical conditions, juveniles, and at some intervals, cases lawyers have interests in.