The Chief Judge of Lagos State, Justice Ayotunde Phillips, on Tuesday during her visit to the Kirikiri Maximum and Medium Prisons, freed 233 inmates, who were on awaiting trial list and some of who had spent up to 12 years in prison.
This visit was the first since the chief judge assumed office in June and is one of the activities lined up for the commemoration of the 2012/2013 new legal year of the state judiciary.
One hundred and thirty inmates were released from prison custody at the Kirikiri Maximum Security Prisons while the remaining 103, were from the Kirikiri Medium Security Prisons.
Justice Phillips, while granting freedom to the inmates, stated that it was in line with her statutory duty to decongest the prison, saying that the exercise was carried out “in pursuant of the powers conferred on me under Section 1 (1) of the Criminal Justice Release from Custody Act, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2007.”
According to her, the exercise will continue to be part of the legal year activities and will also come up more often than before in line with her inaugural vow.
She stated that, “there is a saying in the legal circle that it is better for 10 guilty persons to be free than for one innocent person to be incarcerated.
“We have gone through the list of those recommended for release. So for those of you who qualify to be released, you are very lucky that your names came up. So, go and sin no more”.
The CJ also advised the inmates who regained their freedom to change for the better and ensure that they contribute their quota to the society.
“Go and sin no more and I must not see you here again,”she said.