The Chief Judge of Lagos State, Justice Oluwafunmilayo Atilade, on Thursday freed 43 under-aged inmates from the Ikoyi prison.
Among the 43 inmates, 31 were pardoned and freed while the others were sent to a government-owned foster home in Adigbe area of Ogun state due to the nature of their offence.
The state pardon came following a petition from Dupe Olubanwo, head of prison ministration team of Fountain of Life Church, Lagos.
Justice Atilade said the amnesty granted to the inmates was in line with statutory duty in order to protect human rights and also to ensure that prisons nationwide are decongested.
The CJ said “I pronounce, pursuant to the provision of section 1(1) of the criminal justice (Release from custody) Act, 2007 as well as Section 35 of the 1999 constitution, you are all hereby released from custody.”
She admonished the inmates to avoid offences that may bring them back to prison.
Also speaking at the event, Justice Oluwatoyin Ipaye, said prison is not meant for children, adding that Lagos state judiciary has zero tolerance for under-aged staying in the prisons.
“No to children in the prison,” she echoed.
Those who accompanied the CJ include senior judges from the state high courts including head of decongestion committee, Justice Oluwatoyin Ipaye, head of the family court division, Justice Yetunde Idowu, officials of the Lagos State Ministry of justice, Office of the Public Defendants (OPD), members of the Nigerian Bar Association, Members of African Women Lawyers’ Association and various Non-governmental Organisations.