An order by the Lagos State Government for the immediate release of the affected inmates was handed over to the Nigerian Prisons Service through the State’s Controller of Prisons, Mr Olatunbosun Ladipo, on Thursday by the Advisory Council on Prerogative of Mercy.
The 18 inmates, who included 15 males and 3 females serving life sentences for various offences, and having spent more than 30 years in incarceration, were recommended for immediate release by the Council on compassionate grounds.
The inmates were ordered to be released having been found to have fulfilled the very stringent conditions for their freedom.
Chairman of the Council, Professor Oyelowo Oyewo, while speaking at the handing over ceremony held at the hall of the Kirikiri Maximum Prison, applauded the benevolence of the state governor, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode, in assenting to exercise the prerogative in favour of the recommended inmates.
Oyewo, who was represented by Mrs Bolatunmi Animashaun, advised the pardoned inmates to turn a new leaf when eventually they are reunited with their families into the larger society.
He urged them to steer clear of every temptation that could make them repeat offenders.
Also speaking, the State’s Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr Adeniji Kazeem, encouraged other inmates still serving in the prison to be of good behaviour and exhibit conducts that could qualify them to benefit from such order.
Kazeem, who was represented by Director of Legislative Drafting in the State’s Ministry of Justice, Mrs Yejide Kolawole, enjoined the inmates to improve themselves, as the application of other inmates eligible for state pardon were still under consideration.
The pardoned inmates were very jubilant and thankful to Governor Ambode for his benevolence in giving them the opportunity of a second chance at living a purposeful life.
They also pledged to be of good behaviour, and to be law abiding citizens as they returned back to the larger society.
In his response, the State Controller of Prisons, Mr Ladipo, commended Governor Ambode for his efforts at ensuring the well-being of inmates in the prisons through the regular assistance.