By Simeon OSAJIE
Delta State Chief Judge, Hon. Justice Tessy Diai has directed the Chief Registrar to arrange a three months financial assistance to enable management of the prison to care for an inmate diagnosed with liver and suspected kidney failure at the Kwale Custodial Centre.
The inmate, Mr. David Olori 48 has been in custody since December, 2022 on the charge of murder.
According to the nurse of the centre, Olori was diagnosed with suspected kidney failure at the Central Hospital and required further investigation and treatment at Asaba Specialist Hospital.
The nurse complained to the Chief Judge that it had been financially difficult to take care of him in terms of changing pampers and other issues.
Justice Diai who was accompanied by Hon. Justices G. B. Briki-Okolosi, K. O. Okpu, F. O. Enemo and E. O. Odebala granted bail to David Olori on health grounds, noting that given his prevailing health condition, he was not strong enough to stand trial.
Reacting to the welcome address of the Deputy Controller of Kwale Custodial Centre, the Chief Judge reiterated that custodial centres were under the Exclusive list of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended), and not the responsibility of the state.
Justice Diai made the emphasis at Kwale Custodial Centre at the continuation of the 2023 first quarter jail delivery exercise, stressing that while it was not the constitutional responsibility of the state to maintain prisons, the state can nonetheless render assistance where necessary.
The Chief Judge, who reiterated that the purpose of the jail delivery exercise was not to throw the prisons gates open for inmates, applauded the state governor for prompt assistance to custodial centres across the state.
On the challenges experienced by authority of custodial centres across the state in reproducing inmates to courts due to lack of adequate vehicles, the number one Judicial Officer disclosed that she had drawn the attention of Governor Ifeanyi Okowa to the issue of lack of utility vehicles to ease their work and the Governor has made a promise to that effect.
Expressing confidence in the Governor to make good his promises, Justice Diai noted that just as he has been rendering assistance to the facilities, the request made by the Deputy Controller of Kwale centre in respect of renovation would also be brought to the governor’s attention.
She commended her brother judges, especially Honourable Justice F. O. Enemo, in charge of Kwale Criminal Division for his hard work; the Chief Registrar and team; Director of Public Prosecutions Mrs Efe Jesin Odogun and her team; magistrates and the Nigerian Bar Association for their diligence in making the visit successful.
Earlier in a welcome address, the deputy controller of the Kwale Custodial Centre, Mr. Udoka Chinaka disclosed that the facility that was built in 1907 during the colonial era with capacity of 262 has a current lock-up of 307 inmates.
He appealed to the state government for logistics support in the area of accommodation for staff, installation of solar around perimetre walls and utility vehicles.
Mr. Chinaka equally implored judges and magistrates within the jurisdiction to always attend to custodial cases first during court sessions to enable prison wardens return inmates to the facility on time for safe custody.