The Governor of Edo State, Mr Godwin Obaseki, has solicited the support of the Nigerian Bar Association towards tackling the problem of overcrowded prisons in the state.
Noting that awaiting-trial inmates account for the larger percentage of the prison population, the governor urged the NBA, Benin branch to work with the judiciary to come up with a solution to the challenge.
According to a statement on Wednesday, Obaseki said this when the newly elected executive members of the NBA, Benin branch paid him a courtesy visit at the Government House in Benin City.
The governor also attributed the progress recorded by his administration to the support of the judiciary in the state, which provided the needed enablement for restoring law and order.
He urged the NBA executive members to work with the in-house committee on the decongestion of prisons in the state, stressing that his administration was committed to reducing the number of inmates awaiting trial, significantly this year.
“The success of my administration so far has been principally based on the ability to use the law, constitution and the judiciary,” Obaseki said.
While assuring the NBA that his administration was committed to repositioning the Edo State judiciary as the judicial hub of the South-South, the governor disclosed the plan by his administration to build an industrial court, saying the design of the court was ready.
“Our goal is to build a state that has a robust complement of the whole judicial infrastructure. We want to make the state attractive to judges and we have commenced a project to develop a housing estate for our judges to enable them to live in comfort and security,” he added.
The newly-elected Chairman of the NBA, Edo branch, Prince Collin Ogiegbaen, commended the governor for his decision to reduce the cost of obtaining Certificates of Occupancy, noting that the gesture would encourage investors and increase revenue generation for the state.
The NBA chairman also commended Obaseki for the “giant strides” being recorded by his administration in the agricultural sector, adding that the NBA anticipated a boom in the oil palm sector.