|Justice Ayotunde Phillips|
The Chief Judge Of Lagos State, South-West Nigeria, Justice Ayotunde Phillips today granted freedom to forty six awaiting trial inmates of Ikoyi prisons.
Justice Phillips had in September this year released 233 inmates of the Kirikiri Prisons.
The Chief Judge told those who regained their freedom today that the gesture was in fulfillment of the promise she made during her visit to Kirikiri, that she would visit the prisons more frequently.
She said that the freedom granted the inmates was “in pursuant of the powers conferred on her under Section 1 (1) of the Criminal Justice Release from Custody Act, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2007″.
She admonished the freed inmates to be of good behavior henceforth and to “sin no more”.
“I have a magnetic and very retentive brain. So, I would remember any of you if I come across your name again”, she admonished them further.
Earlier, the Deputy Comptroller of Prisons, Mr. Emmanuel Bamidele who noted that the stigma of being former prisoners had remained a major obstacle, allayed the fear of members of the society that those set free would not pose any problem as they had undergone genuine reformation and rehabilitation.
“Therefore to settle down for something meaningful after release may not constitute worry provided society allowed them second chance”.
“Nevertheless, let me assure my Lord and other people here that you will never regret the bold laudable action taken today”, he said.
The deputy Comptroller of prisons counseled the freed prison inmates to be of good behaviour henceforth and not to betray the confidence reposed in them.
He also gave same advice to the remaining inmates saying that this is the only way to ensure a repeat of the Chief Judge’s visit to the prisons.
“To my obedient, tolerant and understanding inmates particularly those that will get freedom today, as you can see and hear, I have spoken for you to be of good behaviour henceforth. Therefore never you betray the confidence so that it will not be too long before we get this type of rear opportunity”, he said.
The prison boss pleaded with the state Chief judge for the donation of a bus in order to have enough buses for use of prisoners going for trial.
He said that the existing four buses had proved inadequate for conveying between 80 to 120 inmates to different courts daily.
He said an additional bus would complement the existing four and would make late arrivals in courts a thing of the past.