The Ogun Chief Judge, Justice Mosunmola Dipeolu, on Tuesday granted pardon to 14 inmates across the correctional centres in the state, in the effort to decongest the centres.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the inmates freed were from Oba, Ibara, Ijebu-Ode, Ilaro and Borstal Home Institute, Adigbe in Abeokuta.
Dipeolu ordered the release of the inmates during the first quarter of jail delivery exercise held at the State Judiciary Complex in Abeokuta.
According to her, the exercise is to reduce cases of unlawful detention and awaiting trial inmates, who have been in custody without trial over a period of time.
‘”They cannot be incarcerated for long in the correctional centre, hence a need for their release to avert backlog.
“Some of the inmates had been in custody since 2015, 2016 and 2017, respectively, based on no legal advice rendered by the State Director of Public Prosecution (DPP), no case files found, among others,” she said.
Dipeolu noted that those who regained freedom were imprisoned for various offences, ranging from conspiracy, robbery, attempted murder, abduction, canal knowledge, among others.
She admonished the freed inmates to be law-abiding as they go out, and also positively contribute their quota to the development of the society.
Dipeolu added that they should make the best use of the amnesty, by shunning crime and criminal activities capable of bringing them back to prison.
She, however, appreciated the Sub-Committee on Prison Decongestion, the officers of the correctional centres across the state and the Ministry of Justice in ensuring a smooth and successful jail delivery exercise in the New Year.
The CJ also disclosed that another round of jail delivery exercise would take place in April to further decongest correctional centres.
Also speaking, Mr Rasheed Alimi, Ogun State Comptroller of Correctional Service Centre, appreciated the gesture of the CJ in ensuring that inmates were released, periodically.
Alimi was represented at the occasion by the Deputy Comptroller of Corrections in charge of the New Oba Custodial Centre, Mr Babatunde Adenaya.
He noted that the periodical exercise would go a long way in minimising congestion in the prison formations in the state.
On his part, Pastor Taiwo Olukoyede, Head of Friends of Joseph Foundation, a non- governmental organisation, applauded the CJ for her passion for the advancement of the timely and quick release of inmate across the state correctional centres.
Olukoyede added that the gesture had remained the fuel powering the engine of the Sub- Committee on Prison Decongestion, chaired by Justice Catherine Ogunsanya.
He, however, urged the state Judiciary to keep the flag flying.(NAN)