Dateline was Saturday May 13, 2017 about two weeks to my birthday. Around 8PM, I was with my brother and leader, Omo Oba Adeyemi Akeem, when a call came in from the Chief Judge of Oyo State, Hon. Justice Munta Ladipo Abimbola. We exchanged pleasantries before he said “see me in the office on Monday for your birthday gift”.
Upon arrival on Monday May 15, 2017, I was ushered into his expansive office located inside the High Court of Justice along the popular Ring Road axis in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital.
I greeted him like a proper Yoruba man would greet his elders. We got talking and he said “your birthday is about two weeks from now. What role do u want me to play? Mention anything, logistics support or what have u”.
I replied ” MiLord, you have a big role to play. You are the only person for now that can give me a perfect birthday gift”. While changing his seating position, he asked me “what’s that”? I said ” MiLord, Abolongo Prisons in Oyo, my hometown is heavily congested. I have it on good authority that the vast majority are awaiting trial on watery charges. Sir, I want you to invoke your powers under Section 1 of the Criminal Justice (Release from Custody) (Special Provisions). Act, Cap. C40, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004. This is the gift I want for my birthday”.
The CJ stood up, paused for a while and said “Tayo, this is a huge surprise. I thought you would mention rice and food condiments or even money. My respect for you has multiplied instantly. I know the Act you cited very well however I can only exercise such powers upon the fulfilment of certain condition precedent. That said, I will ask the standing committee I setup for that purpose to look into the issue you have raised.”
I responded with a very big thank you and I left.
A few days later on May 31, 2017, about 25 inmates were meritoriously freed to commemorate my birthday.
Happy Birthday to you “Adajo Agba” fun gbogbo ipinle Oyo.
By Hon. Prince Adetayo Adekunle
Member, Nigerian Youth Parliament,
( Representing Oyo Central Senatorial District)
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