Inmate suffering from tuberculosis released from prison
An inmate of Kirikiri Medium Security Prison, Lucky Nelson, who is suffering from tuberculosis has been freed by the Chief Judge (CJ) of Lagos State, Justice Opeyemi Oke.
The CJ in exercising her power to grant amnesty, freed him on compassionate ground.
She said: “ Pursuant to the provisions of Sections 1(1) of the Criminal Justice (Release from Custody) Act, 2007 as well as Section 35 of the 1999 Constitution, you Lucky Nelson, you are hereby released from custody this 20th day of February, 2018.
The CJ also refused to release other 14 inmates of the prison whose cases were forwarded to her because they failed to meet the criteria for pardon.
The freed inmate who was also diagnosed of diabetes has been in prison custody since 2012 for allegedly obtained N25,000 by false pretense.
The Guardian learnt that a nursing officer of the prison that brought his medical file before the CJ said his case has defied medication.
Oke said Nelson was released because of ill health.
She added: “To prevent the spread of tuberculosis among other inmates. I also considered the period you have been in custody without trial. I want you to go out there, be of good behaviour and sin no more”.
Also, about ten nursing mother inmates of the Kirikiri Female Prisons failed to meet the criteria for release.
The CJ, therefore, ordered the Directorate of Public Prosecution (DPP), Ms Titi Shita-Bey and Director, Office of the Public Defender (OPD), Mrs Olubukola Salami and their officials to take their details.
“Fourteen cases were presented to me for consideration but after interviewing them, I found that none of them merited to be pardoned. How can you release for instance, a child kidnapper or a murderer? That would be a disservice to the society.
“ It is very unfortunate but we must follow due process in releasing any inmate in the prison. Remember that members of the society must also be; so we don’t just free any inmate without following due process,” she added.
Earlier, the Deputy Comptroller Prison (DCP), Oluwaniyi Emmanuel, of Kirikiri Medium Prison called on the Lagos State government to reverse its increment on fine stipulated by the State Task Force Mobile Court saying it has contributed to overcrowding of the facilities.
He said philanthropists have stopped assisting the lesser offenders in paying such huge fines.
He explained further that most of the minor offender inmates in their facility are referred by the mobile court seek for the support of the state government to provide them with buses to aid transportation of inmates to court.