The Anambra State Chief Judge, Justice Peter Umeadi, has berated the state Department of Public Prosecution for the shoddy handling of the case of a robbery suspect, Ndubuisi Baluolisa, who died after awaiting his bail application for six years.
Umeadi expressed this during the jail delivery service at the Awka prisons on Friday.
The deceased was listed among four inmates under the ‘very sick’ category whose cases were expected to be treated compassionately by the CJ on the mission.
When the name of Baluolisa was called for him to appear for his matter, the court was taken aback when the prison doctor, Frank Uzor, informed the CJ that the suspect had died.
The doctor said, “At a point, Ndubuisi started losing weight and we took him to the Amaku Specialist Hospital and took samples of his sputum for analysis, but he later died .We suspect he died of pulmonary tuberculosis.”
Records showed that Baluolisa had on July 9, 2010, applied for bail after the police forwarded his file to the court.
Angered by the development, the CJ queried why the deceased was kept in detention for six years after he had applied for bail.
The DPP told the CJ that one T.C. Obuekwe was handling Beluolisa’s file and unaware of what caused the delay for six years.
Regretting that nothing happened after the police forwarded the case file to the DPP, Justice Umeadi directed that the family of the deceased should be written to inform them of Baluolisa’s demise.
He also ordered the DPP to write a letter to his (Chief Judge’s) office to explain what happened to Baluolisa since the relevant officers were shirking their responsibilities.
“DPP this is not how it should be. We must take charge of our responsibilities. I do not see any sense in keeping a man who applied for bail since 2010 to continue to be in detention until he died. It is unfair,’’ the CJ stated.
There were over 40 inmates in the prison who had remained there for between six and eight years without trial. The CJ freed 12 of them during the exercise.