- The notice of CJN Ibrahim Muhammad has been drawn to the fact that many prisons in the country are congested
- As the country battles with coronavirus, this will definitely add more burden to the federal government
- In light of this, Muhammad has ordered all chief judges in Nigeria to grant release to deserving inmates in prisons within their jurisdiction
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Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN) Ibrahim Tanko Muhammad, as the chairman of the National Judicial Council (NJC), has ordered all chief judges to decongest all prisons in the country as a way of curbing the spread of coronavirus.
CJN Muhammad gave the order to all federal and state chief judges on Friday, May 15, The Nation reports.
According to the CJN's directives, each chief judge is to pay a visit to prisons in his or her jurisdiction and ensure that criminal cases were quickly attended to.
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A part of the statement that contains the order read: “It has become imperative for your lordships to embark on immediate visit to all custodial/correctional centres within your respective states to identify and release deserving inmates, where that has not been done already.”
Meanwhile, Legit.ng reported that the former director of finance and account at the Abia government house, Ude Udeogu, had secured a warrant of release from the Kuje Prison in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
Udeogu happened to have been convicted for fraud alongside Orji Ozor Kalu, a former governor of the state.
The order for Kalu's co-convict was given on Tuesday, May 12, by the Supreme Court in Abuja.
The former Abia state governor was to remain in prison until a contrary verdict is given by the apex court.
Legit.ng reported that despite the apex court's judgment that nullified the sentencing of Kalu, he had remained in Kuje prison four days after the verdict.
The court did not issue any order for Kalu’s release because he did not file any application for such.
The judgment only covered the appellant, Udeogu, who challenged the propriety of a Court of Appeal judge, Justice Mohammed Idris, to try him.
The Comptroller-General of Nigeria correctional service, Jaafar Ahmed, had also refused to release Kalu because there was no order from the Supreme Court to that effect.
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