The Chief Judge of Lagos State, Justice Oluwafunmilayo Atilade, on Wednesday released 153 awaiting trial inmates from the Kirikiri Maximum and Medium prisons.
Among the pardoned inmates were 79 being tried for capital offences. Three of the freed inmates had been standing trial for over 15 years.
Atilade said the amnesty granted the inmates was in line with her statutory duty to ensure that the prisons were not congested.
She said, “I advise the pardoned inmates to make the best of this amnesty by not returning to criminal activities.”
The chief judge solicited the support of all relevant stakeholders in the justice system in the effort to decongest the prisons.
Atilade was accompanied on the visit by senior judges from the state high court, officials of the Lagos State Ministry of Justice, members of the Nigerian Bar Association, some non-governmental organisations and representatives of the police.
In his remark, the Deputy Controller in charge of the Kirikiri Maximum Prison, Seye Oduntan, thanked the CJ for the amnesty gesture.
Oduntan, who noted that there were still many inmates who deserved pardon, urged the chief judge to ensure the continuity of the exercise.
As of Wednesday, the Kirikiri Maximum Prison with a holding capacity of 1,053 inmates housed 1,235 inmates. Among them were 772 awaiting trial inmates and 209 convicts. There were 171 inmates on death row, while 83 were serving life sentence.
At the medium prison with a holding capacity of 1,700 inmates, there were 2,853 inmates as of Wednesday. Among them, 2,726 were awaiting trial, 128 had been convicted, 25 designated as lodgers, 19 were detainees, while one inmate was condemned.