Lagos - In exercise of her prerogative of
mercy, the Chief Judge of Lagos State, Justice Oluwafunmilayo Atilade, on
Wednesday released 10 inmates from Ikoyi Prisons .
She said the gesture was aimed at decongesting the prisons
and ensuring that deserving inmates breathed a fresh air of freedom.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Atilade had on
June 18 released 16 inmates from the prisons.
Atilade admonished the freed inmates to be of good behaviour
and make positive impacts on the society.
She said: "In congratulating the beneficiaries of today's
exercise, I must note that they are being given another opportunity to start
afresh, moreso as it is coming on the eve of a new year.
"I do sincerely hope and pray that those being granted
amnesty today will be of good conduct and will do no such thing capable of
bringing them back into prison."
Also read: 34 inmates freed from prison in Ado-Ekiti
According to her, steps have been taken by the judiciary to
facilitate speedy trials and dispensation of justice to reduce drastically the
number of those awaiting trial.
"The newly introduced Bail Information Management
System (BIMS) is a ground breaking innovation to improve the administration of
criminal justice in Lagos State.
"Aside from guaranteeing ease of access to relevant
information as may be required for effective bail management, it is intended to
eliminate all known challenges in criminal prosecution, "Atilade said.
The chief judge urged the Office of the Public Defender, the
Nigerian Bar Association and non-governmental organisations to assist inmates
to get speedy dispensation of justice.
Earlier in his address of welcome, the Deputy Controller,
Ikoyi Prisons, Mr Julius Ezugwu, said the correctional facility which had a
capacity for 800 inmates currently had 2,084 inmates.
He said: "The prison currently holds 2,084 inmates. The
number of convicted inmates is 210 while those awaiting trial are 1,874."
Ezugwu noted with satisfaction the existing cordial
relationship existing among the prison authority, the police and the judiciary.
"The synergy and collaboration among us has translated
into the orderly, stable and peaceful community that abounds in this
NAN reports that the release of inmates is pursuant to the
provisions of Section 1(1) of the Criminal Justice Release from Custody
(Special Provisions) Act, Laws of the Federation 2007.
The law empowers the chief judge to grant freedom to inmates
who have been in custody for periods longer than they would have served if
convicted for the alleged offences.