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Gov Mbah Constitutes Enugu Judicial Service Commission

Enugu State Governor, Peter Mbah, has constituted the State’s Judicial Service Commission and Advisory Council on Prerogative of Mercy.

The State’s Judicial Service Commission will continue to be in charge of administration of Enugu State Judiciary, including recommendations for promotion of judges, welfare, recruitment of staff into the state’s judiciary and carrying out other activities in line with Enugu State’s laws and the Nigeria constitution.

The Advisory Council, according to Governor Peter Mbah, would serve as legal advisory support to the state governor.

Mbah said the Advisory Council would also assist his administration in issues relating to amnesty for inmates.

In a statement on Thursday, Peter Mbah disclosed that the state government was not pleased with the number of inmates in the Correctional Center at Old Park, Enugu.

He said the number of inmates in the correctional center exceeded the built capacity of the facility 650.

He disclosed that the correctional center was built to house only 650 inmates, but has about 2000 inmates, while 80 percent of the inmates are awaiting trial.

Mbah also disclosed that his administration would establish other courts to ensure speedy trial and dispensation of justice.

He announced that his administration would ensure full digitalization of court processes in the state.

He said, “The Judicial Service Commission is responsible for ensuring the welfare of judicial officers as well as overseeing their employment.

“We are currently digitizing and digitalizing our court processes and procedures. Our efforts to have our court procedures reported verbatim is at an advanced level. This will eliminate the burden of longhand reporting, allowing our judges to be more effective.

“We are also establishing specialized courts in the state to expedite access to justice. So, this is a very important commission, and we have taken great care in selecting the individuals who will serve on it.”

On the Advisory Council on Prerogative of Mercy, Governor Peter Mbah added, “the primary function is to review applications for clemency and advise the governor with recommendations. The Enugu Correctional Centre, which was built to accommodate slightly more than 650 inmates, today has over 2000 inmates, with more than 80% of them awaiting trial. This is not acceptable.

“We hope that the decisions and indeed reviews of the Council will not be taken lightly. They would have to be done with a deep sense of duty and also be guided by the objective guidelines while reviewing each case. We expect each case to be examined on its merits, not driven by any subjective motive, because at the end of the day, we must ensure that we continue to live in a safe society while decongesting our prison.”

The members of the State Judicial Commission included: The Chief Judge of Enugu State, Justice Ozoemena Afojulu, as Chairman; the State Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Dr. Kingsley Udeh; the President of Enugu State Customary Court of Appeal, Justice Chibueze Nnamani; Justice Reuben Onuora (Rtd.), Prof. Andrew Chukwumerie (SAN), Hon. Gabriel Agbo, and Dr. Udechukwu Ezeh.

The Advisory Council on Prerogative of Mercy has seven members, they are Enugu State’s Attorney General as Chairman, Dr. Kingsley Udeh;  Barr. Seth Nwokolo as Secretary, and Dr. Rita Emeh.

Others include representatives from Nigeria Correctional Service, Carmelite Prisoners Interest Organisation (CAPIO) and Catholic Institute for Development Justice and Peace (CIDJAP).

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