Ogun State Chief Judge, Justice Mosunmola Dipeolu, on Friday granted amnesty to 31 inmates in five Correctional Centres across the state as part of efforts to decongest the facilities.
Dipeolu granted them amnesty during the second quarter jail delivery exercise held at the State High Court Complex, Kobape in Abeokuta.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that eight inmates were released from the New Abeokuta Correctional Centre in Oba, six in Ibara and eight in Ilaro.
Three inmates were also released from Sagamu Correctional Centre and six from the Ijebu-Ode Centre.
Dipeolu said that the inmates had been in custody for many years over various offences and were being released for reasons of case files not found and no prosecution witness to show in court.
She said that the Judiciary had set up a committee, Administration Criminal Justice Committee, to look through the list sent from the correctional centre, and Department of Public Prosecution (DPP) to determine inmates worthy of release.
“But now, we have this new innovation of having their records, by taking their pictures and other details, so as to keep their records, which will make us know if any of them comes back,” she said.
She admonished the freed inmates to shun criminal activities capable of bringing them back to prison, advising them to go out and behave themselves as good citizens.
“You were all released not because you did not commit the crimes or you were not guilty, but because your case files were not found and there was no prosecution witness,” she said.
The Ogun State Controller of Nigeria Correctional Service, Mr Abdulrasheed Alimi, commended the Chief Judge for the kind gesture.
Alimi, also appreciated the criminal justice committee, for the effective work in screening and investigating the inmates before their recommendation for release.
He pledged that the correctional centre would continue to have a good working relationship with the Ogun state Judiciary. (NAN)