By Bukola Olasanmi


The Presidential Committee on Prisons Reform and Decongestion has freed 66 inmates from the Kirikiri Medium Prisons.

Most of the inmates were not able to meet the conditions set by the court for their freedom but were freed following the payment of their fines by the Presidential Committee and the Lagos State Government.
Some other civil society organisations (CS0) also came to their aid.

Some of those released by the Chairman of the committee and also the Chief Judge of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Justice Ishiaq Bello, were between the ages of 19 to 63 years.

One of those who regained freedom is one Okafor, who is suffering from hernia and a big cancerous lump on his left buttocks.

Justice Bello said his committee did not visit the prison because it found out that they were jailed for dealing in hard drugs.

“We believe that those who deal in hard drugs should not be sent back into the society. We have decided they should serve their full sentence”, he said.

Also a prison inmate who was sentenced to six years with a N415,000 fine option, missed freedom because he was on anti intro viral drugs.

“You look healthy, agile and handsome. It is our decision that you should not be sent back to the society so that you don’t pass it around””, Justice Bello said.

‎He said, “State CEOs don’t like ‎signing execution warrant. In that case nobodyy will blame the judiciary for not doing their jobs. If they are blaming the judiciary, they should be blamed too because failure to sign execution warrant makes citizens more daring. If they fail to sign the warrant, you make our jobs nurgatory.

“If they are looking at political consideration for not signing it, they are doing disservice to the system”.