The inmates were identified as Abubakar Abdullahi and Ufuoma Victor.
It was gathered that Abubakar Abdullahi had been in the detention facility since 2020 for alleged conspiracy, kidnapping, and armed robbery, while Ufuoma Victor, who was accused of the same offence, had been in custody since 2022.
In her opening remark, Justice Diai, who was accompanied by the Chairman, Administration of Criminal Justice Committee, Justice G. B. Briki-Okolsi; Justice A. E. Okorodas, and Justice A. A. Ighoverio, said “the purpose of the jail delivery exercise is to ensure that everybody in custody is in legal custody, and that no inmate awaiting trial has stayed beyond the number of years he would have served had he been convicted”.
The chief judge noted that the court had struck out the same case, involving two other defendants, charged along with Abubakar Abdullahi, when he was still in Ogwashi-Uku custodial centre, stressing that there was no justification for his continued detention.
“In light of this development, there is no good reason for the continued detention of the defendant in this facility. He is hereby discharged,” the CJ said.
Narrating his ordeal shortly after breathing an air of freedom, Abdullahi who expressed joy over his release, stated that he was innocent of the criminal charge preferred against him.
According to him, “I only went to the market to buy a cell phone, and it was thereafter that an unknown person accosted, and struggled to collect the phone from me and before I knew what was happening, I was arrested and taken to court.”
The chief judge who also released 16-year-old Isaac Frank, from Remand Home/Children Correctional Centre, Sapele, reviewed the cases of 208 inmates awaiting trial at the Sapele Correctional Centre, while 11 were at the Remand Home.