The Lagos State Chief Judge, Justice Oluwafunmilayo Atilade, on Thursday released 11 inmates at the Badagry Prisons during her maiden jail-delivery in the prison.
This is the first visit by Atilade to the Badagry Prison in her tenure as the Chief Judge of Lagos.
The Badagry Prison which has a capacity for 160 inmates is currently holding 370 inmates, out of which 207 are convicted and 163 are awaiting trial.
Atilade, said that the visit was for amnesty purposes.
“This is the first visit by me and my team to the Badagry Prisons to release inmates and those incarcerated unduly.
“Today, a number of inmates are qualified for amnesty and will breathe the air of freedom, the purpose of which is not only for them to be released but to contribute meaningfully to society,” she said.
The chief judge urged the Badagry Chapter of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) and other Non-Governmental Organisations to take up cases of inmates pro bono to help with the administration of criminal justice.
“This amnesty is provided for in Section 1(1) of the Criminal Justice Release from Custody Special Provision Act and Section 35 of the 1999 constitution.
“You are hereby released conditionally from custody without prejudice to further proceedings against you. I enjoin you to go and sin no more,” the chief judge cautioned.
NAN reports that names of 174 inmates were submitted to the Prison Decongestion Committee to review for amnesty but was narrowed to 12 inmates.
One of the inmates could not be released because a lot of information was missing in his file making 11 the number of inmates eligible for release.
In his address of welcome, the Officer in Charge of the Badagry Prison, Mr Timothy Tinuoye, said that the prison was currently experiencing various infrastructural challenges.
Tinuoye, who was represented by Mr O.O Oladokun, said: “The prison has only one vehicle which conveys all the inmates to eight different courts daily and there is insufficient fund to maintain the vehicle.”
Atilade also made a brief stop at the Shola Thomas Courthouse for an inspection of the facility and later held a closed door meeting at the courthouse with the Chairman of the Badagry Chapter of the NBA, Mr Deyon Kiki.