Justice Olufunmilayo Atilade, Chief Judge of Lagos State, today, freed 66 inmates at the Kirikiri Medium Security Prisons.
Atilade granted the inmates Amnesty, who were being held for alleged non-capital offences, during his visit to the prison on Tuesday.
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 the exercise of the power conferred on her the Chief Judge by Section 1(1) Criminal Justice Release from Custody Special Provisions Act Cap 40, Laws 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 an additional 31 inmates in order to decongest the heavily populated facility.
The additional 31 inmates released comprised majorly of suspects picked from under bridges and streets of across Lagos.
According to the CJ, over 100 requests for amnesty were received by the Amnesty Committee headed by Justice Oluwatoyin Ipaye, out of which 35 were approved.
Admonishing the freed inmates to go and sin no more, Justice Atilade said the only way to reciprocate the gesture was for them to henceforth live a good life and be of good conduct.
“The impact of this exercise can only be felt when you, the beneficiaries of this amnesty gesture, show that you are truly reformed. I wish you the very best and you should see this as an opportunity to start afresh.
“You are hereby released from this prison today, May 9, 2017. Go and sin no more,” she said.
Justice Atilade, in her address, said the objective of the exercise was not only to decongest the prison but to ensure that the freed inmates were truly reformed and could contribute meaningfully to the society.