Go and sin no more, Lagos CJ tells 66 freed inmates
The Chief Judge (CJ) of Lagos State, Justice Oluwafunmilayo Atilade, yesterday charged the 66 freed awaiting trial inmates from the Kirikiri Medium Prison in Lagos to ‘go and sin no more’.
The CJ freed the inmates in exercise of the constitutional powers conferred on her by section 1(1) Criminal Justice Release from Custody (Special Provision) Act Cap C40 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2007 as part of effort of the judiciary and other stakeholders to decongest the prisons.
The freed inmates were those held in prison for non-capital offences and have been in custody for more than nine months.
The prison facility, which has a capacity for 1,700 inmates, is currently home to 3,326 inmates, 2789 of whom are awaiting trial, while 537 have been convicted of their crimes by various courts in the state.
Initially, 35 inmates were scheduled to be granted amnesty by chief judge but the figure rose to 66 after the prison authorities appealed to her to free an additional 31 inmates in order to decongest the heavily populated prison.
The amnesty committee, headed by Justice Oluwatoyin Atinuke Ipaye, had received over 100 request for the amnesty of which 35 were approved.
However, while releasing the inmates, the Chief Judge said: “You are hereby released from custody today, go and sin no more.”
To the additional 31 inmates who were set free, she said: “Your names are not in the official list, we are just trying to decongest the prison. So, count yourselves lucky and be of good behavior in the outside world so as not to return here.”