The Chief Judge of Lagos State, Justice Olufunmilayo Atilade, granted amnesty to 66 awaiting-trial inmates at the Kirikiri Medium Security Prison. Atildade freed the inmates, who were being held for alleged non-capital offences, during his visit to the prison.
She noted that the move was part of the efforts of the judiciary and other stakeholders to decongest the prison, whose normal capacity was for 1,700 inmates, but as of Tuesday had a total of 3,326 inmates.
She said she was releasing the inmates in exercise of the power conferred on her as the Chief Judge by Section 1(1) of the Criminal Justice Release from Custody Special Provisions Act, Cap 40, Law of the Federation of Nigeria, 2007.
Thirty-five inmates were initially scheduled to be granted amnesty by Atilade, but the figure rose to 66 inmates after the prison authorities appealed to her to free additional 31 inmates in order to decongest the heavily populated facility.
The additional 31 inmates released comprised majorly suspects picked from under bridges and streets of Lagos.
According to the CJ, over 100 requests for amnesty were received by the state amnesty committee headed by Justice Oluwatoyin Ipaye, out of which 35 were approved.
Admonishing the freed inmates to “go and sin no more,” Atilade said the only way to reciprocate the gesture was for them to thenceforth live a good life and be of good conduct.