By; PAMELA EBOH, Awka
Thirteen inmates of Onitsha prison have been granted bail by the Chief Judge of Anambra State, Justice Peter Umeadi during his annual jail delivery/prison visit.
Prisoners who made the lucky list include those with health challenge, the aged and those that have spent a minimum of 3-years in awaiting trial.
They 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.
There were three Psychiatric cases out of the twelve in Onitsha Prison that were granted bail.
The psychiatrist inmates were Uchechukwu Nwankwo who has been incacerated for 6 years and 11 months ; Sunday Oranyelu from Abba Nsugbe, 5 years,6 months for Murder and Tobenna Maduabum 5 years and 11 months for murder.
Addressing the court, justice Umeadi, ordered that some of the female inmates be returned 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.
The Chief Judge however granted a nursing mother, Chinazaekpere Onwuaso who was charged for armed robbery and Jacinta Mmanwoke, jailed for conspiracy and child stealing bail.
Also granted bail was an 85-year woman who has been in prison for 8months over child theft but later charged for kidnapping ,
Madam Omeogo Ifejiaka who was remanded with her grandson was not granted bail as Bar Ikenna Egbuna, SAN, objected her bail demand from her counsel , Bar. Francis Ossai.
Her case was referred back to the regular court by the Chief Judge .
According to Umeadi, the inmates granted bail would be handed over either to their traditional ruler or Town Union President, Councillor and the likes since they claimed they have nobody to affect their bails.
The Chief Judge regretted that was most cases from 2013 had their case files from DPP missing even as no information was provided on why they were dumped in jail without trial.
He described the synergy between his office and other security agencies including the prison as well placed in a democratic setting.
Confirming the psychiatric cases, the Prison medical doctor and Deputy Comptroller of Prison , Dr Uzor Frank said that 12 inmates are confirmed Psychiatric patients.
On his part, the Comptroller of Prisons Anambra state, Barr Emmanuel Nwakaeze described the prison visit by the Chief Judge as apt saying that with the release of some inmates, the prison would be further decongested.
He said 2007 inmates were currently in prisons across Anambra State against the huge number of inmates recorded in the past.