Acting Chief Judge of Rivers State, Justice Daisy Okocha has inaugurated a 6-man committee towards the release of some inmates with a view to depopulating prisons across the state.
According to a statement by the Chief Registrar, Rivers State High Court, Leonard .K. Adoki, the inauguration of the committee was preparatory to the 2015 Gaol Delivery Exercise to be undertaken by the Acting Chief Judge, which is in accordance with the provisions of the Administration of Justice Act (Cap A3, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004).
The statement acknowledged that, the scheduled gaol delivery exercise, which derives from the provision of the criminal Justice (Release from custody) Special Provisions Act Cap. C 40) Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004), would enable the Acting Chief Judge to order the release of persons detained in prisons in certain circumstances specified in the law for the purpose of decongesting the prisons.
The Chief Registrar stated that, by the provisions of enabling law, the 6-man committee had the statutory responsibility for the general supervision of all aspects of the administration of Justice in the state as well as the effective performance of the functions of all organs charged with the administration of justice in the state.
Adoki disclosed that the six-man Committee, which would be headed by the Acting Chief Judge will also have, the Commissioner of Police, Comptroller of Prisons, State Director of the State Security Service,SSS, Attorney-General represented by the Solicitor-General and Permanent Secretary, State Ministry of Justice, and the chairman of the Nigerian Bar Association ,NBA, Port Harcourt Branch as members of
the committee.
Although, the date for the release of prison inmates in the state was yet to be disclosed as at the time of filing this report,statement by the Chief Registrar urged members of the Civil Society Organizations, the Press,non-governmental organisations, as well as prison decongestion advocacy groups to be part of the exercise which is expected to take place at the Port Harcourt prisons.

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