The Ogun State Chief Judge, Hon. Justice Mosunmola Dipeolu has granted amnesty to 26 prison inmates awaiting trials, by the prerogative power of the State’s Chief Judge, during a three day tour to the five prison formations across the three Senatorial Districts of the State.
Justice Dipeolu said the second quarter’s prisons jail delivery was aimed to decongest prison formations of inmates, as well as curb jail breaks, saying after reviewing their cases, inmates with no case files, medical records, amongst others, were discharged.
She further explained that there had been other interventions to decongest, which included the prisons courts, Intervention Week and jail delivery exercise, which she noted had yielded little or no results.
“The inmates were released with a view to decongest the prisons and the exercise is in accordance with the service of the law under the custody act. I want to appeal to the released inmates to be of good behaviour, so that they do not return to the prison”, Dipeolu said.
Justice Dipeolu disclosed that two inmates were set free at Sagamu prison, nine at Ijebu-Ode, three at Ilaro, while five and seven were released at the new Abeokuta prison, Oba and Ibara prisons respectively.
She urged government to build more prison formations, as some prisons had doubled their capacity which was not good for the inmates’ health, stating that New Abeokuta Prison, Oba was the only prison that was not highly congested, compared to Ibara which initially had 510 inmates but had increased to about 1,164 inmates.
“Crime rate is really very high in our society and we all know that; that is why I am recommending for more prison formations to accommodate criminals. We can only release those that were not supposed to be there”, Dipeolu noted.
In his remarks, the Controller of Prisons, Ogun State Command, Mr. Benson Abolade Victor, represented by the Assistant Controller of Prisons, Mr. Bamidele Oshin appreciated the State Chief Judge for the kind gesture, noting that the exercise was part of unexpected justice and liberties which further attest to the respite of jail delivery to the prisons community and a great impetus to the Judiciary in the state.
He further stated that the Nigeria Prisons Services’ view and mission of Reformation, Rehabilitation and Reintegration could hardly be appreciated, as a result of the magnitude of Awaiting Trial Persons (ATPs) in various prisons all over the country, including Ogun State, affirming that the presence of the Chief Judge was to carry out her statutory responsibility of jail delivery.