Uduaghan Seeks Speedy Dispensation Of Justice, Inaugurates Council On Prerogative Of Mercy



Uduaghan shakes handsDelta State Governor, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan has inaugurated a seven-man Advisory Council on the Prerogative of Mercy with a task “to help decongest the prisons and transform the criminal and penal system in the state.”
Dr. Uduaghan who inaugurated the Council at the weekend in Asaba said the prerogative of mercy was an important constitutional safeguard in the criminal justice system in the state and provided a special avenue for wrong verdicts on criminal cases to be re-opened.
He explained that “The setting up of this council is part of the reform measures to assist the criminal justice system to eradicate all conceivable clogs in the wheel of speedy criminal justice dispensation.”
He therefore enjoined the Council to “visit prisons, interact with the authorities and those in custody and to facilitate policy formulation that would reform the system.”
The governor who explained that prison decongestion was a cardinal principle of his administration, called on the Council members to review all cases of persons desiring state pardon and the conditions under which they could be granted pardon and advise government accordingly.
He charged them to work in tandem with the judiciary, police, Prison Service and the Ministry of Justice to tackle the issue of persons awaiting trial in the different prisons in the state.
Dr. Uduaghan advised them to be transparent and follow due process in the discharge of their duties and diligently comply with statutory guidelines in the performance of their duties.
“You should make transparency, probity and due process your watchword in all you do. Let me advise you to adopt best practices and comply with the statutory guidelines in the performance of your duties,” Governor charged the council and appealed to all stakeholders to work together with the council in order to ensure their success.
In his response, the chairman of the Council, Chief Thompson. Okpoko(SAN), thanked the governor for finding them worthy to serve the state in this capacity and promised to do their best.
He explained that the Council has no power to free any convicted person but would work within the powers conferred on it by the constitution to advise the governor accordingly.
His words: “This Council has no power to free anybody from jail or convict anyone but to advise the governor according to constitutional provisions on criminal justice.”
Chief Okpoko assured the governor that the team was ready to work and called on all stakeholders to allow the Council do their work diligently without any undue interference.
He assured the governor that they would do their best to deliver and called on members of the Council to exhibited integrity in the discharge of their duties without fear or favour.
The seven members inaugurated are Chief T. Okpoko – Chairman; Dr. A. Ebinum; Mrs. Phillipa Longe; Chief A.P.J Okpakpo; Brigadier General Broderick Demeyeibo [Rtd.] ; Colonel Anthony Asielue[ Rtd] and Mr. Churchill Oki.

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