The Rivers State Chief Judge, Justice Simeon Amadi, has granted pardon to 181 inmates in various correctional centres in the state in a bid to decongest the facilities.

The 181 pardoned inmates were also discharged and acquitted of their offences.

Amadi, while speaking at the close of the two-day decongestion exercise at the Port Harcourt Maximum Correctional Centre, said the exercise was a prelude to the 2022/2023 state legal year ceremony.

Justice Amadi was represented at the event by the deputy Chief Registrar in charge of litigation, Chief Magistrate Friday Poromon.

The Chief Judge said, “On November 22, I will embark on another goal delivery exercise as activities put together to herald the 2022/2023 legal year in the state.”

While addressing the freed inmates, he said the society contributed more to the congestion of the correctional centres.

“Members of the society have also contributed largely to what we have here. It is sad.

“Simple civil disputes, quarrel over boundaries; people rush to the police stations and insist that the police must bring very heavy charges.

“We also want to put members of the public on notice that the magistracy is no longer a place where you bring any charge from the police stations to get the charge rubber-stamped for the purpose of bringing people here,” he said.

He further said the state judiciary would ensure it tackled the challenges leading to delay in the speedy delivery of justice.

“We may not have attended to everybody’s case. It is not possible. We can’t do that within the limited time that we have. But for those of you whose cases are not going on and who are trapped here, from time to time, we will help.

“What we have done today is just a little component of what is going on. Reforms are ongoing within our criminal justice administration system,” the CJ stated.

Amadi advised the freed inmates to change their ways and desist from any acts that might cause them to return to the facility.

The state Comptroller of Corrections, Felix Lawrence, who spoke through the Chief Superintendent of Corrections, Magnus Uchegbu, thanked the chief judge for the exercise and advised the released inmates to be responsible and good citizens.

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