No fewer than 33 inmates of the Port Harcourt prisons have regained their freedom, as part of this year’s jail delivery exercise carried out by the Chief Judge of Rivers State, Justice Adama Iyayi Lamikanra.
Speaking during the exercise, Justice Lamikanra said the session was aimed at releasing those who were unlawfully detained and that it would help to decongest the prisons.
Lamikanra said she had the constitutional powers to visit the facility and look at those who were unlawfully detained as well as those who had spent more than the required number of years if they were convicted.
She said, “What we have done today are the efforts of the federal and state governments to decongest the prisons. The Chief Judge of the State has the powers under the Criminal Justice Release Act to visit the prisons and see all those who were unlawfully detained or those who have spent more than the number of years they would have on conviction if they had taken trial.
“We grant some of them bail because their matters are ongoing in court. So, it is an effort we try to undertake quarterly or once a year to try and decongest the prisons. About 33 persons were discharged today,” the Rivers CJ said.
Justice Lamikanra, however, advised those who benefited from the jail delivery to stay away from crime, urging them to be useful to themselves by looking for something genuine to do.
”Many of you have spent a long time in prison. I noted that some of you were very young when you came here and you have spent about six to seven, eight years here. So, you can see that you have wasted your youth inside prison.
“So, as you have been discharged today and you go and start your life again, try and be of good behavior. Crime does not pay. Today you are lucky, you could go back to the crime and you will be killed. Or you come back here and you will die here. So, go and find something to do with your life. Go and look for work to do,” she said.
Earlier in his address, the Deputy Controller of Prisons, Rivers State Prison Command, Felix Lawrence said the Port Harcourt Prisons originally built to accommodate 800 inmates, now houses over four thousand people.
Lawrence said, “The open out of Port Harcourt Prisons this morning is 4,036 inmates against the statutory capacity of 804 inmates.
The Awaiting Trial Inmates consist of 3, 426 males, 74 females, total 3,500 awaiting trial persons, while others are convicts,” he said, while thanking the state government for the exercise.
By: Dennis Naku.
Rivers Begins Fruit Garden Market Allocation, Today
The Rivers State Government will today kick-off the process for the allocation of shops at the newly completed and commissioned ultra-modern Fruit Garden Market in the D/Line area of Port Harcourt City Local Government Area of the state.
This indication was contained in a statement signed by the Chairman, Committee on Allocation of New Ogbum-na-Abali Fruit Garden Market, Dr Bariere Thomas in Port Harcourt, yesterday.
According to the statement, “The committee on allocation of stalls/stores at the new Ogbum-Abali Fruit Garden Market has rolled out its time table as follows: Friday, February 28, 2020 at 10am prompt is for the distribution of forms to original 205 traders of the market. They are to come to the meeting with their proper identification”.
It also added that the distribution of forms to the other fruit/vegetable sellers who were not part of the original 203 to collect expression of interest forms would begin, tomorrow.
The statement further explained that on “Monday, March 2, 2020 is for the return of completed application forms by all applicants preceding the balloting exercise the same day”.
The committee emphasised that it would continue with the process on Tuesday, March 3, 2020, with the allocation and collection of certificates by the established original 205 and those who were successful in the balloting.
It, therefore, advised all affected persons to comply with the scheduled timeline for the allocation of the stalls to enable government complete the process without hitches in orer to achieve set goals.
Association Tasks Old Boys On Alma Mater
The Okrika Grammar School Old Boys Association (OGSOBA), has called on members of the association to work towards the development of the school.
Speaking at a dinner night organised by the association at Hotel Presidential in Port Harcourt, recently, as part of events marking the 80th anniversary celebration of the body, the National President of OGSOBA, Sam Nwakohu, appealed to members to take matters concerning the school seriously.
He stated that the school has assisted many of the old boys to be what they are in the society, in terms of discipline and otherwise.
“I implore all of us to take matters pertaining to the development of the school as seriously as we take our personal progress.
In this age, our students need to be educated in an improved environment and with better facilities for learning in terms of academics and extra curricula activities “ Nwakohu said.
The National President noted with dismay that the association could not finish a building project for over 15 years.
“We should try and improve infrastructure of the school. It is not pleasant to note that we could not complete one building for over 15years. While most of us have houses in UK, US and some living in mansions”, he stated.
Also speaking, the chairman of the anniversary committee, Engr. Daso Derefaka, appealed to members to consider the school’s progress.
While noting that the school was currently in need of major repairs, especially auditorium, he thanked members that attended the anniversary and reunion celebration.
By: Tonye Orabere
Oversight Functions Take Centre Stage
Oversight functions dominated activities in the Rivers State House of Assembly in the week under review though there had been other programmes by the various legislators.
Last Monday, Deputy Speaker, Hon. Edison Ogerenye Ehie unveiled some projects he personally built to appreciate his constituents at Idoke and Edoha in Upata kingdom of Ahoada East Local Government Area.
The projects includes classrooms at Idoke and lock up shops at Edoha. He noted that they were not constituency projects but his own personal donation to the people.
Calling on the people to utilise the projects, Chairman of the Council, Barrister Benjamin Eke commended the lawmaker for his love for the people.
Tuesday last week, member representing Asari Toru ll in the House and Committee Chairman on Information and Training, Hon. Enemi George Alabo met with members of the Assembly correspondents corps.
The lawmaker said the Assembly planned to reorganise its information management policy towards improving public enlightenment and to consolidate some of the achievements of the House.
He sought for synergy between the Assembly and the press corps as a way to further inform the citizenry on what the legislature was doing.
Henceforth, he hinted that a central information structure would be set up for a unified dissemination system.
Earlier, Chairperson of the Assembly Press Corps, Ijeoma Tubosia congratulated and at the same time commiserated with Enemi George on his victory at the polls and death of his father respectively.
She said the meeting was part of steps to intimate the House authorities of a new press corp management executive.
Tubosia sought for the incorporation of the press corps in activities of the House and to ensure that the public is fully updated of its programmes.
Last Thursday, House Chairman on Community and Chieftaincy Affairs, Hon. Matthew Dike and that of Employment and Local Content, Hon. Dumle Maol met with Community Liaison Officers(CLOs) in South East Senatorial District.
Dike and Maol urged the CLOs to ensure they champion the interest of their communities and that of the companies to foster peace and conducive operations for development of the state.
They stressed the need to implement Memorandum of Understanding and Local Content policy for fairness and equity for host communities of these companies.
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