As part of measures to curb the spread of the dreaded coronavirus pandemic and further decongest Custodial centres in Delta State, 150 inmates were in the last one week set free by the State Chief Judge, Justice Marshal Umukoro from the Warri, Agbor, Sapele, Kwale and Ogwashi-Uku Custodial centres.
Umokoro explained that inmates who were 60 years and above, those with health issues likely to terminate in death and low risk offenders, inmates with minor offenses and inmates who had less than three years term left to serve were the ones released.
Giving the breakdown of those set free in a statement, the Public Relations Officer of the Corrections, Delta State Command, Mgbakor Uche, said 49 convicts were set free from Warri Custodial centre, 46 from Agbor Custodial centre and 27 from Ogwashi – Uku Custodial Centre.
According to her, 25 inmates were also freed at the Kwale Custodian Centre and three from the Sepele Custodial Centre, adding that the exercise was carried out in one week.
The Controller of Corrections, Delta State Command, Mr Ovie Esezobor, who addressed the freed inmates, told them to be of good behaviour, urging them not to go back to crime and criminality. He thanked the state government for the gesture.
Meanwhile, a member of the National Executive Committee (NEC Representative) of the Nigerian Bar Association, NBA, Mr. Nelson Enumah has called on the Federal, State Governments, Nigerian Correctional Service, relevant institutions and agencies to provide Custodial Centres across the country with coronavirus test kits.
He said the test kits would enable the Custodial Centres test the inmates and new convicts being taken to prisons to ascertain their health status.
Enumah held that such medical examination should be conducted to isolate positive from negative inmates.
He expressed worry that the Correctional Centres could be a fertile ground for the spread of the virus, adding that this could be counterproductive to the fight against the spread of the deadly disease.