Lagos CJ Grants Amnesty to 30 Inmates To Decongest Over Stretch Prison Population

The Chief Judge of Lagos State, Justice Kazeem Alogba has granted freedom and re-integrated back into society thirty out of the forty inmates listed for the amnesty programme.

The inmates were pardoned at an open court session presided over by the Chief Judge at the premises of Ikeja Magistrates’ Court in Ogba.

Those granted freedom included four juveniles who were from a Foster Home, Borstal Training Institution, Adigbe in Abeokuta.

Others were released from Ikoyi and Kirikiri Correctional Centre.

Some of the inmates had been in correctional facilities since 2013 before they were granted freedom.

The Chief Judge ordered that six of the inmates be returned to prison while the remaining four names had errors.

The chief judge, while releasing the suspect, said that the exercise was in line with the efforts by the Federal Government to decongest custodial centers as stipulated in Sections 1(1) of the Criminal Justice Release from Custody Act, Cap C40, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2007 and 377 (c) of the Administration of Criminal Justice (Amendment) Law 2021.

According to him, the amnesty is guided by relevant laws upon fulfillment of requisites, before it could be embarked upon.

Justice Alogba said the exercise was related to people who had stayed much longer than they would have stayed upon conviction and those whose trials had been stalled.

He explained that the overstretch awaiting trial inmates at the Correctional Center was a result of systemic failure as cases had not been going promptly not to as failure of the judiciary but due to ancillary factors.

“Cases are not going on in courts not because the magistrates or judges are not upright in their duties but failure as a result of hitches in the course of prosecuting offenders,” he said.

The chief judge also commended the committee that looked into the case of those released for doing a thorough job.

In a remark, the Deputy Controller, Nigeria Correctional Services (NCS), Lagos Command, DCC Comfort Obiosio, who represented the Controller of NCS, Lagos, Mr. Ben Freedman, revealed that almost nine thousand inmates were in the three correctional centers in the state.

She urged the chief judge to use his good office to see that privileges were given to some remorseful inmates to decongest the correctional centers.

“We have almost nine thousand locked up in Lagos and we hope the CJ uses his good office to free those qualified and decongest the facilities,” Obiosio said.

On his part, the Lagos State Commissioner for Police, CP Idowu Owohunwa, represented by the Deputy Commissioner for Police, DCP Waheed Ayilara, said that the Nigeria Police has a partner in the justice system, would continue to ensure due process and the exercise should be a continuous one to curb the shortfall as maximum capacity was about 1, 500.

“The police will continue to be diligent in their investigation to help with the decongestion,” Ayilara said.

Wahab Akinlade

Akinlade I. WAHAB is a dedicated journalist and the proprietor of I-WAHAB Media. He embarked on his career at Murhi International TV (MiTV) and subsequently joined Radio Nigeria as a Judicial Correspondent.With a profound interest in legal reporting, he currently holds the positions of Chairman at the National Association of Judicial Correspondents (NAJUC), Ikeja Branch, and Chairman at the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Radio Nigeria Chapel.As the owner of I-WAHAB Media, he has successfully established Top Court News, a platform renowned for providing comprehensive coverage of court cases and legal developments, with the aim of promoting transparency within the judicial system.Akinlade's diligent work and unwavering commitment to ethical reporting have earned him immense respect within the Nigerian journalism community.

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