75 inmates of the Kirikiri prisons were yesterday freed by the Lagos State Chief Judge, Justice Ayotunde Phillips.
Majority of the inmates who were set free by the chief judge were still awaiting trial prior to the favour granted them. Seventy-one of the inmates were released from the medium section of the prison, three from maximum and one from the female prisons.
Justice Phillips ordered their release 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.
She admonished the inmates to be of good behaviour and shun crime so as to ensure they don’t return to prison.
Deputy Comptroller of the Kirikiri Maximum Prison, Mr. Olu Tinuoye, who welcomed the Chief Judge said Justice Phillips’ administation had significantly reduced the number of awaiting trial inmates in the prisons.
While also thanking the chief judge for her efforts in decongesting the prisons, the Deputy Commissioner of Prison in charge of the Kirikiri female prisons, Mrs. Leticia Isioma Onwuli, lamented the poor state of health facilities in the prison.
Onwuli said the Kirikiri female prison clinic located within the prison facility currently lack adequate equipment to deal with the increasing challenge of female inmates especially the pregnant inmates. She noted that the prison female clinic lack the necessary equipment to deal with the health challenges of the inmates especially pregnant ones.
The DCP said the Kirikiri female prison facility currently have 205 inmates of which 170 are awaiting trial, 32 convicted, two condemned, one lifer, Eight pregnant women and nine mothers with babies.
She pleaded with the chief judge to use her office to appeal to the state government to provide rebate for female inmates who are referred to the general hospital for treatment.
Chairman of the Lagos Prison Decongestion Committee, Justice Oluwatoyin Ipaye, said the release of inmates who have no reason to be in prison would continue even when the chief judge has retired.
According to her, the offences of the freed inmates were non-capital offence and they had been in custody longer than the period they would have stayed if they were convicted.