Lagos State Governor, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode yesterday released twelve inmates of the Kirikiri Maximum Security Prison in Apapa in the exercise of his power under the Prerogative of Mercy.
The inmates, who have spent between 20 and 34 years in prison, were released after satisfying the basic conditions of remorse, good behaviour and readiness to contribute meaningfully to the society.
Speaking while handing over the governor’s release order to the Lagos Prisons Command, Chairman of the State Advisory Council on Prerogative of Mercy, Prof Oyelowo Oyewo said the inmates’ release showed the government’s commitment o justice sector reforms through prison decongestion.
Oyewo, who represented Ambode at the event, said the exercise was pursuant to the governor’s power under the constitution to show mercy and also offer hope to inmates who have demonstrated capacity to be re-absolved into the society.
Oyewo said the released inmates’ families, in accordance with the guidelines, were also made to guarantee that they would not return to the world of crime.
He implored other inmates to be of good behaviour as the governor was determined to release as many of them as met the requirements for freedom.
According to him, a reform is being proposed to put a parole system in place to secure the database and to monitor freed prisoners after their release.
Lagos Command Controller of Prisons Tunde Ladipo praised Ambode for his commitment to justice sector reforms and prison decongestion. He said the inmates’ release had brought hope to them.
He recalled the release of 18 inmates in March, adding that the development would help in decongesting prison, which he described as a major issue in the administration of justice system.
He urged the governor to come to assist the command with logistics, construction of security tower, and procurement of CCTV cameras, among others.