Senator Ademola Adeleke, the Governor of Osun State, had his two-day working visit to the Ilesa and Ile-Ife Nigerian Correctional Centers on August 10th and 11th, 2023, respectively.
The visit was conducted by the Attorney-General of Osun State, Hon. Wole Jimi-Bada, who represented the Governor.
The Governor’s directive, prompted by security briefings in council meetings, prompted the Attorney-General’s visits to address the overcrowding issue at the Ilesa and Ile-Ife Correctional Centers.
This was contained in a statement signed by the Senior Legal Adviser to the Attorney-General & Commissioner for Justice, Osun State, Debo Oladinni, Esq.
The Attorney-General and his team, including various officials, were welcomed by CC. Tolu Ogunsakin, the Controller-in-charge of the Nigerian Correctional Service (NCoS), Osun State Command.
During the visit, the Controller highlighted the significance of the event, as it marked the first time an Osun State Attorney-General personally interviewed and engaged with awaiting trial inmates, assessing those eligible for fine defrayment by the State Government.
The Controller praised the government for addressing the issue of overcrowded correctional centers and shared that the Ilesa Correctional Centre was designed for 585 inmates but currently held 766, with 655 awaiting trial and 111 convicts.
On Friday, August 11th, 2023, CC. Tolu Ogunsakin, the Controller-in-charge of Osun State Command, and DCC. O.L. Obende, the Officer-in-charge of the Ile-Ife Medium Custodial Center, warmly welcomed the Attorney-General of Osun State and his team. DCC. O.L. Obende conveyed to the Attorney-General that the Center’s designated capacity for inmates was 160, but it currently held 346, with 302 awaiting trial and only 44 convicts.
Expressing profound concern, Hon. Wole Jimi-Bada reiterated the essential directive from His Excellency, instructing him to thoroughly review cases, dismiss charges as appropriate, and create a list of well-behaved inmates whose fines could potentially be covered by the Government for release. He emphasized the need for caution to avoid reintegrating criminals into society.
The Attorney-General, alongside his experienced legal team, conducted interviews with over 150 inmates at both Correctional Centers. Careful scrutiny of each inmate’s case record took place, with a comprehensive series of questions directed at awaiting trial inmates who had committed minor offenses. This process aimed to determine their specific offenses and identify necessary steps to expedite their cases.
The Attorney-General assured the Controller that necessary measures would be implemented to address the issue of overcrowded correctional centers and alleviate the situation.
In a specific case, the Attorney-General was deeply touched by the predicament of a young inmate, below 18 years of age and lacking literacy skills, who identified himself as a scrap scavenger.
This inmate had been found guilty of stealing iron rods and had been handed a three-year prison sentence, with an alternative option of paying a fine amounting to N150,000.
Upon being presented with the distressing account of the inmate’s circumstances, the Attorney-General covered the fine and committed to overseeing the inmate’s proper rehabilitation, aiming for his successful reintegration into society.
Hon. Wole Jimi-Bada also made note of a notable number of awaiting trial inmates who were held due to breach of contract cases, which fell within the realm of civil matters. He made a pledge to take corrective actions to address this concerning pattern.
DCC Tolu Ogunsakin, the Controller-in-charge of the Nigerian Correctional Service (NCoS) in Osun State Command, expressed heartfelt gratitude to His Excellency, Senator Ademola Adeleke, who was represented by the knowledgeable Attorney-General, Hon. Wole Jimi-Bada, alongside the legal team.
Their commendable initiative to tackle the vital task of alleviating prison congestion by addressing cases involving minor offenses was greatly acknowledged.
THE PRESS RELEASE READS:
SENATOR ADEMOLA ADELEKE, THE GOVERNOR OF OSUN STATE KICK-STARTS THE PROCESS OF DECONGESTING ILESA AND ILE-IFE CORRECTIONAL CENTERS IN OSUN STATE
His Excellency, Senator Ademola Adeleke, the ever proactive, dynamic and forward-thinking Governor of Osun State, ably represented by the Attorney-General of Osun State, Hon. Wole Jimi-Bada, paid a two-day working visit to Ilesa and Ile-Ife Nigerian Correctional Centers on 10th and 11th of August 2023 respectively.
The Attorney-General’s working 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. The sole purpose of the said visits paid by the Attorney-General to both Centers was to carry out the clear mandate of His Excellency to kickstart the decongestion process of the overcrowded Ilesa and Ile-Ife Correctional Centers.
At the Ilesa Correctional Center, Hon. Wole Jimi-Bada and his team, comprising the Special Adviser to the Governor on legislative matters, Hon. Ropo Oyewole, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Justice, Mrs. M.A. Bello, Debo Oladinni, Esq., Senior Legal Adviser to the Attorney-General, Mrs. 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 CC. 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.
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, 11th August, 2023, the Controller-in-charge, Osun State Command, CC. Tolu 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.
Hon. Wole 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 said 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.
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 His Excellency, 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.
Debo Oladinni, Esq.
Senior Legal Adviser to the Attorney-General & Commissioner for Justice, Osun State