The Chief Judge of Lagos State, Justice Ayotunde Philips yesterday released 233 inmates, majority of whom were awaiting trials at the Kirikiri Prisons, Lagos. This was part of the on-going new legal year programmes, and it was also a step to de-congest the prisons. Most of the lucky inmates have stayed for over 12 years.
Precisely, the judge released 133 inmates from the Kirikiri Maximum Security Prison and 103 from the Medium Security Prison. The Chief Judge was empowered to release the inmates pursuant to the powers conferred on her under Section 1 (1) of the Criminal Justice Release from Custody Act, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2007.
Meanwhile, the release inmates from the women prisons, also located at Kirikiri was shifted forward by the judge. In her remark, Justice Philips said, “there is a saying in the legal circle that it is better for 10 guilty persons to be free than for one innocent person to be incarcerated.
“We have gone through the list of those recommended for release. So for those of you qualified to be released, you are very lucky that your name has come up. So, go and sin no more.”
Reminding her audience of the promises she made before, she urged those released to turn a new leaf and go out to contribute their quota to the society, adding, “I promised during my swearing-in ceremony that I will do my best to decongest the prisons.”