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Lagos CJ Frees 46 Inmates

Lagos CJ Frees 46 Inmates

The Chief Judge of Lagos State, Justice Ayotunde Philips, on Tuesday released 46 awaiting inmates from Ikoyi Prison.

The facility, before Philips’ visit on Tuesday, housed 1,739 convicted and awaiting trial inmates.

The CJ had released 233 inmates from the Kirikiri Maximum and Medium Security Prisons on September 17, 2012.

Philips said on Tuesday that the step was aimed at decongesting the prisons in exercise of her powers under Section 1 of the Criminal Justice Release from Custody Special Provision Act CAP C40, 2007, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria.

The freed inmates were said to have been awaiting trial in the prisons for a period longer than they ought to have spent.

Among the inmates who got their freedom was 75-year-old Job Meleb who had been awaiting trial for alleged murder since 2008 when he was arrested for the offence.

Meleb and some of the freed inmates, including Yusuf Oyekunle, 34, who had been remanded since March 2008 for alleged murder, told our correspondent that they had never been taken to court to face trial since their remand.

Philips admonished the freed inmates to be of good behaviour.

“I release you all from custody today, December 11, 2012, and admonish you to go and sin no more,” she said.

Earlier, the Deputy Controller of the prison, Bamidele Emmanuel, who commended the CJ for her visit to the prison, called for the state judiciary’s assistance in meeting the prison’s logistic problems.

Emmanuel said, “About 80 to 120 inmates are being taken to more than 50 courts across different jurisdictions in the state. Our buses are grossly inadequate.

“We beg for a bus to enable us to take inmates to court early.”

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