The Chief Judge of Lagos State, Justice Oluwafunmilayo Atilade, on Tuesday freed 66 inmates of Kirikiri Medium Prison in Lagos.
Atilade said her visit to the prison was in an effort to aid administration of justice in the state and to decongest the prison.
“Our visit to the Kirikiri Medium Prison is to ensure the reduction of the number of the awaiting trial inmates and make sure that cases are dispensed judiciously and within the permissible time frame.
“The purpose of this visit is not only to decongest the prison but to ensure that the prisoners will also be functional to society.
“I hope that they have learnt substantially from their previous mistakes as they are granted amnesty today and reintegrated into society.
“I hope they will not do anything that will bring them back to prison,” she said.
Atilade also thanked the Prison Decongestion Committee, Office of the Public Defender (OPD), Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) and some NGOs for their efforts in making the exercise a success.
Earlier, in an address of welcome, DCP Yomi Oluwaniyi, the officer-in-charge of the prison, thanked the chief judge and her entourage for the visit.
Oluwaniyi said the prison faced many challenges, including the lack of accommodation and inadequate medical supplies and facilities for the inmates.
“In view of the rising population of the inmates, the prison which had initial capacity of 1,700 is currently heavily overpopulated.
“By reason of this overpopulation, the facilities and resources of this prison are seriously overstretched and we are trying to manage them as a result,” he said.
He said that two additional buildings were required in the prison to accommodate inmates.
He called for more medical facilities, two prison vans (Black Maria) for the conveyance of inmates to and from court.
The prison currently has 3,326 inmates, made up of 2,789 persons awaiting trial and 537 convicts.
Thirty-five were initially scheduled for amnesty but the figure rose to 66 after the prison authorities appealed to the chief judge to free 31 others.
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