Dayo Johnson, Akure
Twenty-two inmates drawn from two correctional centres in Ondo State have regained their freedom as part of measures of decongesting the centres in the state.
This is coming as the Ondo State Government has equally commuted the death sentence of seven people convicted of various offences to life imprisonment and freed 18 prisoners as parts of activities marking the 59th Independent anniversary of the country. The Chief Judge of Ondo State, Justice Olutoyin Akeredolu ordered the release of the 22 inmates during her visit to some of the prison facilities across the state.
Justice Akeredolu visited Okitipupa Ondo and Olokuta medium correctional centres. The freed inmates who were alleged of minor offences ranging from stealing to illegal conversion and mostly in their twenties jumped for joy as they were set free of the charges brought against them.
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At Okitipupa Medium Security Correctional Centre, the Chief Judge of the state released six out of 79 inmates awaiting trial at the facility. Also, a 13-year-old boy alleged of rape was discovered among the inmates and the Chief Judge directed that he should be transferred to children correctional centre. At Olokuta facility, Justice Akeredolu released 16 inmates on health grounds, while others were released for lack of diligent prosecution on the part of the Department of Public Prosecution in the ministry of justice.
Meanwhile, the Acting governor Hon Agboola Ajayi while exercising his powers in a letter to the Comptroller of Nigerian Correctional Services said the seven inmates who have been convicted and sentenced to death by hanging and are awaiting execution should no longer be executed.
A statement by the Deputy Chief Press Secretary to the State Government, Babatope Okeowo stated “ I Hon Alfred Agboola Ajayi, the Acting Governor of Ondo State of Nigeria in exercise of the power conferred on me by paragraph (a) (c) and (d) of subsection (1) of Section 212 of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 as amended.