BREAKING: First time an attorney general visits Osun correctional centers, pays N150,000 fine for teenager jailed 3 years

…as Gov Adeleke begins process of decongesting prisons

SENATOR Ademola Adeleke, governor of Osun State, ably represented by Wole Jimi-Bada, attorney-general of Osun State, paid a two-day working visit to Ilesa and Ile-Ife Nigerian Correctional Centers on August 10 and 11, respectively.
Tolu Ogunsakin in a handshake with Wole Jimi-Bada

The attorney-general’s visit to both centers was further to the directive of the governor, which was a result of the of the security briefings, he received at the council meetings overtime to carry out the decongestion process of the overcrowded Ilesa and Ile-Ife Correctional Centers.CONTINUE READING

At the Ilesa Correctional Center, Jimi-Bada and his team, comprising M.A. Bello, permanent secretary, Ministry of Justice, Debo Oladinni, senior legal adviser to the attorney-general, Folashade Akinrujomu, director of DPP, Jide Obisakin, director, LAS, Tijani Adekilekun Kareem, director, DC & LD, Kayode Titiloye, director, LR, Blessing Adegbite, media assistant to the governor, and other members of the entourage were warmly received by Tolu Ogunsakin, the controller-in-charge, Nigerian Correctional Service, NCoS, Osun State Command.

According to the controller, the said visit marked a significant milestone, as it was the first time an attorney-general in Osun State would personally pay a working visit to the Centre to interview and interact with awaiting trial inmates who had committed minor offences and also assess those deserving inmates, whose fines could be defrayed by the State government.

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The controller-in-charge expressed his heartfelt appreciation to the Osun State Government for picking up the gauntlet to address the festering issue of overcrowded correctional centers filled with more inmates awaiting trial than actual convicts. The Officer-in-charge, Ilesa Correctional Centre, DCC. A.O. Aremu informed the Attorney-General that the Centre was designated to accommodate 585 inmates, but presently overstretched to 766 inmates, with 655 inmates awaiting trial and a total of 111 convicts.

On Friday, August 11, the Controller-in-charge, Osun State Command, Ogunsakin and DCC. O.L. Obende, the Officer-in-charge, Ile-Ife Medium Custodial Center, received the attorney-general of Osun State and his team. DCC. O.L. Obende informed the attorney-general that the capacity of the Center was designated for 160 inmates, but was presently overstretched to 346 inmates, with 302 inmates awaiting trial and had only 44 convicts.

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Jimi-Bada, expressed deep concern at the sheer number of inmates awaiting trial and reiterated the sacrosanct mandate of His Excellency directing him to review deserving cases, discontinue charges where appropriate, and compile a list of inmates who had been of good behaviour and whose fines could possibly be paid by the Government for release, while maintaining utmost caution not to reintegrate criminals into the society.

Over 150 inmates were interviewed at both Correctional Centers by the Attorney-General and his seasoned legal team. Each inmate’s case record was carefully and painstakingly scrutinized by the Attorney-General, with a litany of questions posed to the awaiting trial inmates, who had committed minor offences to ascertain their respective offences and took note of necessary steps to be taken to expedite action on their cases. The Attorney-General assured the Controller that necessary measures will be put in place to stem the ugly tide of overcrowded correctional centers.

In one of the cases, the attorney-general was moved by the plight of a young inmate, less than 18 years of age (who is an illiterate), who claimed to be a scrap scavenger and was convicted for stealing iron rods and sentenced to three years imprisonment, with an option to pay a fine of N150,000. The attorney-general personally paid the fine of the inmate, upon hearing the sad account of his predicament, and promised to ensure his proper rehabilitation, in order to ensure he is reintegrated into the society.

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The attorney-general observed that a bevy of awaiting trial inmates were incarcerated for cases related to breach of contract, which were civil in nature and promised to take steps to arrest the ugly tide.

DCC Tolu Ogunsakin, the controller-in-charge, Nigerian Correctional Service, NCoS, Osun State Command expressed his heartfelt gratitude to Senator Ademola Adeleke, ably represented by the erudite Attorney-General of Osun State, Hon. Wole Jimi-Bada and his supportive and dynamic legal team for taking the good initiative of embarking on the much-needed exercise of prison decongestion of inmates who had committed minor offences.CONTINUE READING