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Delta CJ Advocates Removal Of Prisons From Exclusive Legislative List



Delta State Chief Judge, Justice Marshal Umukoro

By Agbaragu Timothy

Delta State Chief Judge, Justice Marshal Umukoro has reiterated the need for the removal of prisons from the Exclusive Legislative List in the nation’s constitution.

Justice Umukoro said the removal will enable states address perennial congestion challenges plaguing correctional centres across the country.

The call is coming in the wake of the clamour for unbundling of the prison sector by stakeholders in the administration of justice for improved conditions heightened,

The Chief Judge who decried inability of the Federal Correctional Centres to produce awaiting trial inmates in court due to lack of vehicles and other logistics, noted with dismay, that the abnormal situation was militating against administration of justice.

He advocated the reforms in Ofuoma-Ughelli, Ughelli North Local Government Area where he inaugurated a new magistrate court, describing as most despicable a situation where awaiting trial inmates spend more than five years in custody without being produced in court to face their trials.

“There is the need for more prison reforms to address the issue of prison congestion. It is my humble view that prison matters be removed from the Exclusive Legislative List to enable states to build their own correctional centres to take care of personers convicted of state offences and thereby decongesting the federal correctional centres that are already overstretched,” Justice Umukoro said.

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He lamented the condition in Warri Correctional Centre where it housed more than 3, 000 inmates with less than five vehicles covering over 38 courts.

He stressed that if states were allowed to build their own correctional centres, they would be able to provide facilities for easy production of awaiting trial inmates in court to face their trials.

Justice Umukoro noted that the reason for creating the Ofuoma-Ughelli Magisterial District was not only to bring justice closer to the people, but also to prevent recourse to self help by aggrieved parties.

He appreciated Governor Ifeanyi Okowa for his continued support to the state judiciary to perform its constitutional duties; the traditional ruler of Ughelli Kingdom Evangelist Oharisi 111; Dr. Isaac Akpoveta and notable indigenes of the community for their various contributions in establishing the court.

The number one judicial officer in the state charged members of the bench and bar to work harmoniously to advance the course of justice.

He enjoined members of the bench to be alive to their Jjudicial oaths, even as he advised youths to protect the court and other government institutions to attract more developmental projects to the community.

The chairman of Nigerian Bar Association, Ughelli Branch, Mr Eromonsele Ayo-Okhiria said that the creation of the new a court had expanded the frontiers of practice of legal practitioners in the jurisdiction.

The President-General, Ughelli Descendant Union, Chief Pius Omubaye, thanked Delta State Government and the chief judge for bringing justice closer to the people, promising to provide conducive environment for the court to operate.

The chief judge and brother judges later paid courtesy call to the Ovie of Ughelli Kingdom, HRM Oharisi 111, at his Palace in Ughelli.



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