La­gos CJ Frees 16 Prison In­mates, Says Restora­tive Jus­tice Cen­tres Take off Jan­uary

THISDAY - - NEWS - Ak­in­wale Ak­in­tunde

Seven in­mates from the Ikoyi Pris­ons in La­gos yesterday, breathed the air of free­dom when they were granted amnesty by the La­gos State Chief Judge, Hon. Jus­tice Opeyemi Oke, bring­ing the num­ber freed from pris­ons in La­gos to 16.

The Chief Judge said the ges­ture was aimed at de­con­gest­ing the pris­ons and en­sur­ing that de­serv­ing in­mates breathed a fresh air of free­dom.

In ex­er­cise of her pre­rog­a­tive of mercy, she freed the in­mates pur­suant to the pro­vi­sions of Sec­tion 1(1) of the Crim­i­nal Jus­tice Re­lease from Cus­tody Spe­cial Pro­vi­sion Act CAP C40, 2007, Laws of the Fed­er­a­tion of Nige­ria.

Jus­tice Oke com­menced the amnesty ex­er­cise on Thurs­day with a visit to Kirikiri max­i­mum, medium and fe­male pris­ons. She had re­leased nine in­mates, four from medium and five from max­i­mum pris­ons in Kirikiri on Thurs­day.

The freed in­mates were said to have stayed longer in cus­tody than the num­ber of years they would have spent if sen­tenced by the court for of­fences charged.

Con­tin­u­ing with the ex­er­cise yesterday, at the Ikoyi Prison, the Chief Judge ex­plained that those granted amnesty were qual­i­fied for re­lease af­ter a thor­ough re­view of their case files.

She how­ever ad­mon­ished the re­leased in­mates to, hence­forth, be of good be­hav­iour and stay away from crime. She also ad­vised them to de­sist from any act that would bring them back to prison.

As part of mea­sures to fur­ther de­con­gest the pris­ons, Jus­tice Oke said the Restora­tive Jus­tice Cen­tres set up by her ad­min­is­tra­tion would take off Jan­uary next year.

She said La­gos blazed the trail in set­ting up the cen­tres as part of ef­forts to de­con­gest the pris­ons and as “man­dated by Pres­i­dent Fed­eral Repub­lic of Nige­ria, Muham­madu Buhari and the Chief Jus­tice of Nige­ria (CJN), Jus­tice Walter Onnoghen.”

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