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Lagos Grants Amnesty To 153 Inmates On Trial

By Ayo Balogun

The Lagos State Government has granted amnesty to a total of 153 inmates of Kirikiri Maximum and Medium prisons, still awaiting trial. Chief Judge of the State, Justice Oluwafunmilayo Atilade who ordered the release Wednesday, during her visit to the prisons, pointed out that among the pardoned were 79 being tried for capital offences while three have been standing trial for over 15 years.

Justice Atilade reiterated that the amnesty granted the inmates was in line with the statutory duty to ensure that the prisons were not congested.

The State Chief Judge counseled the freed inmates to judiciously use their freedom, in particular, by avoiding criminal activities. Justice Atilade canvassed for support of relevant stakeholders in the justice system in the drive to decongest the prisons.

Speaking at the event, the Deputy Comptroller in charge of the Prisons, Mr. Seye Oduntan, appreciated Justice Atilade’s gesture, hinting that the Prisons still habours inmates who equally deserved amnesty. He appealed for the continuity of the similar exercise.

The Kirikiri Maximum prison has space for maximum of 1,053 inmates, but presently habitated by 1,235 inmates, among which are 772 awaiting trial; 209 convicts; 171 condemned and 83 inmates serving life sentence.

Similarly, the Medium prison has capacity for 1,700 inmates, but currently houses 2,853. Of this figure, 2,726 are still awaiting trial; 128 convicted; 25 designated as lodgers; 19 detainees and one condemned.

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