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Drama As Freed Prison Inmate Prefers Prison To Home by OrientDailyNews: 1:12pm On Dec 18, 2017
By Francis Ekpone

A scene played out at the Aguata Medium Security Prison on Wednesday when a 54-year-old, Tobias Mbaekwe, declined to go home after being granted bail by the Chief Judge of Anambra state, Justice Peter Umeadi.

Mbaekwe, one of the 10 individuals, who received reprieve from Justice Umeadi during his 2017 jail delivery tour of prisons in the state, on health ground and delay in prosecution, caused uproar moments after the CJ ruled on his case.

Contrary to spontaneous show of joy that usually greets such unexpected reprieve, Mbaekwe collapsed on the floor, begging the chief judge to allow him stay back in the prison instead of being discharged.

He informed the court that his relatives have ganged up to kill him. “They said they will kill me if I come back home. They grabbed my father’s land after killing him in 1980. They latter kidnapped me and threatened to kill me and that is why they abandoned me here since 2012,” Mbaekwe told court.

Consequently, Umeadi directed the Aguata Prisons Welfare Officer to take the defendant to the DPO of Ozubulu Police station who will accompany him home.

He also directed that the defendant be visited every three months while the DPP can re-arraign him anytime they want to prosecute him.

Similarly, Justice Umeadi granted bail to three minors and seven others while 21 cases reviewed were referred to regular court for continuation. The minors, Emmanuel Ani, Victor Ohatu, and Makuo Onuegbu, whose age bracket is between 16 and 17, were arrested and imprisoned for burglary offences.

Umeadi, during the jail delivery service, also discharged a 34-year-old Obinna Nwankwo Udemgba, incarcerated since 2013 but has not been prosecuted by the Department of Public Prosecution (DPP).

Ruling on his case, the chief judge discharged the defendant on the grounds of unnecessary delay by the DPP to commence trial on the matter brought against him as well as the attitude of the defendant’s relatives who abandoned him in the prison.

Other defendants granted bail during the prison decongestion visit included, Japhet Onwuchekwe, Toochukwu Onyebuchi, Sunday Ulebe (Ebonyi). Amandi Dim, Chinonso Onyejeckwe and others.

In his remarks, Justice Umeadi said the aim of the exercise is to bring the court closer to the inmates, describing it as part of the corporate social responsibility of the third arm of the government.

He commended the security agencies, DPP, prison officers, Red Cross, the judiciary and others for their efforts in ensuring that the exercise was a success.

The Assistant Controller of Aguata prisons, Mr. Ubaenyi Patrick described the visit as relief to the prison authorities and family of the inmates, revealing that the 80- capacity prison facility houses 191 inmates, out of which 161 are awaiting trial.


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