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30 out of 40 inmates listed for state pardon gets freedom from NCS custody in Lagos, Ogun state


At least 30 out of the 40 inmates listed for state pardon were on Thursday set free from the custody of the Nigerian Correctional Service in Lagos and Ogun states.

They were granted amnesty and re-integrated into society by the Chief Judge of Lagos State, Justice Kazeem Alogba.

The inmates were granted pardon at an open court session presided over by Justice Alogba on the premises of Lagos State Magistrates’ Court in Ogba.

Those who regained freedom included four juveniles from the Borstal Training Institution, Adigbe, Abeokuta, Ogun State.

Others were released from the Ikoyi Correctional Centre and Kirikiri Correctional Centre.

According to the NCS records, some of the pardoned inmates had been in the correctional facilities since 2013.

Justice Alogba noted that the inmates were pardoned under the Decongestion of the Custodial Centres Exercise 2023, in line with the provisions of Section 1(1) of the Criminal Justice Release from Custody Act, Cap C40, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2007 and Section 377 (c) of the Administration of Criminal Justice (amendment) Law 2021.

Justice Alogba explained that the exercise was carried out to ensure that the inmates do not stay in prison longer than they would have served if convicted.

“It is for this reason and so many other reasons that the exercise is put up and this is the reason the exercise doesn’t hold too frequently.

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

“I am not a Father Christmas and the exercise we are witnessing today is a self-cleansing exercise as provided for in the law.

“It is guided by relevant laws upon fulfillment of requisites, before it could be embarked upon,” the Chief Judge said.

He advised the freed inmates to “go and sin no more.

The Deputy Controller, Nigerian Correctional Service, Lagos Command, Comfort Obiosio, who represented the Controller of the NCS, Lagos, Mr Ben Freedman, disclosed that almost 9,000 inmates were in the three correctional centres in the state.

She urged the Chief Judge to use his good offices to see that privileges were given to some remorseful inmates in order to decongest the correctional centres.

“We have almost 9,000 locked up in Lagos and we hope the CJ uses his good offices to free those qualified and decongest the facilities,” Obiosio said.

The Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Idowu Owohunwa, represented by the Deputy Commissioner for police, Waheed Ayilara, said that the Nigeria Police would continue to ensure due process in handling suspects.

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

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