Justice Ayotunde Phillips, the Chief Judge of Lagos State, on Tuesday released a 75-year-old prisoner, Job Meleb, and 45 other inmates from the Ikoyi Prisons in Lagos. Justice Phillips had on Sept.

Justice Ayotunde Phillips, the Chief Judge of Lagos State, on Tuesday released a 75-year-old prisoner, Job Meleb, and 45 other inmates from the Ikoyi Prisons in Lagos. Justice Phillips had on Sept. 18 released 233 inmates from the Kirikiri Medium and Maximum Security Prisons in Lagos.

The 75 year Meleb said after his release that he was awaiting trial over alleged murder since 2008 and that he had yet to be charged to court. The chief judge ordered the release of the inmates during her visit to the prison. She said the gesture was aimed at decongesting the prison in order to alleviate the sufferings of the inmates. Phillips admonished them to be of good behaviour and make positive impacts in the society.

“Today, I release you from prison custody and I admonish you to go and sin no more,” she told the elated inmates and commended various non-governmental organisations, especially the Christian Lawyers Association (CLA) and the Zarafat and Knights of St. Mulumba (KSM), for their contributions to the welfare of the inmates.

Earlier, the Deputy Controller, Ikoyi Prisons, Mr Emmanuel Bamidele, said the correctional facility had 1,739 inmates. Bamidele charged the freed inmates not to betray the confidence reposed in them, adding that they should strive hard to contribute their quota to the betterment of the society. “The fear being nursed about releasing awaiting trial inmates is that crime will increase. However, I want to allay that fear because the people being released today have been properly reformed and trained in various areas. Some have gone into music production, some are into the production of soaps and antiseptics. If they are released, I can assure you that there will be no problem,? he said.

He appealed to Nigerians to give them a second chance, noting that stigmatisation of ex-inmates was a major obstacle to their rehabilitation and re-integration into the society.

Also speaking, Mr Babatunde Fadugba, President of Three Rs- Club, an NGO based in Ikoyi Prisons, said the purpose of the organisation was to reform, recreate and rehabilitate inmates.

Fadugba, who has been an inmate of the prison since 2009 on a charge of stealing, said the club had rehabilitated and given hope to many prisoners.

He said: “Going to prison should not be the end of your life. The most important thing is to be reformed, while being here. We have trained many people in various skill acquisition programmes such as computer engineering and soap making. This is aimed at making life valuable and purposeful for inmates.”

Chief Judges are empowered by law to grant freedom to inmates who have been in custody for periods longer than they would have served if convicted of their alleged offences.

View the original article here

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.