Again, 62 underage inmates yesterday regained their freedom from prison in Lagos when the state’s Chief Judge (CJ), Justice Oluwafunmilayo Atilade, granted amnesty to inmates from both Kirikiri Female and Medium Prisons.
On August 1, the CJ had released 80 underage inmates from the Badagry Prison on the petition of Mrs. Modupe Olubanwo of the Fountain of Life Church. During yesterday’s visit, 13 underage female inmates were released from Kirikiri Female Prison and 49 underage males from Medium Prison. Another 67 physically-challenged inmates, including those convicted and awaiting trials were released from Kirikiri Medium Prison, totaling 129 freed inmates.
While releasing them, the chief judge said the amnesty granted them was in line with statutory duty to protect the Child Rights and also ensure that the prisons nationwide were not congested. She, therefore, charged the freed inmates not to return to criminal activities. “Be of good behavior and go and sin no more.”
The senior judges from the state high court, including head of Decongestion Committee, Justice Atinuke O. Ipaye, head of the Family Court Division, Justice Yetunde idowu, officials of the Lagos Ministry of Justice, Office of Public Defendant (OPD), members of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), members of African Women Lawyers Association and other non-governmental organisations, accompanied the chief judge on the visit.
“I pronounce, pursuant to the provisions of Sections 1(1) of the Criminals Justice (Release from Custody) Act, 2007 as well as Section 35 of the 1999 Constitution, you are all hereby released from custody”, Atilade said.
The Deputy Comptroller in charge of the Kirikiri Medium Prison, Emmanuel Oluwaniyi, thanked the Chief Judge for the gesture. The Kirikiri Medium Prison with a holding capacity of 1,700 inmates has 3,816 inmates among them were 3,093 awaiting trial inmates and 723 convicts.