SIXTEEN inmates at the Oke Kura and Mandala prisons in Ilorin, Kwara State, have been pardoned by the Chief Judge, Justice Sulyman Kawu.
During a visit to the prisons, Justice Kawu said the pardon followed a directive by the Federal Government to decongest prisons.
He said the inmates were freed because they were illegally arrested and detained.
Justice Kawu, who promised more visits to the prisons, advised those freed to do well with their life.
“We observe over time, that most of the inmates have skin disease, so we urge the prison authorities to address the situation before it spreads to. Whatever we feel the government can do as you requested earlier, we will try our best to press the government to fulfil its promise of providing vehicle medical inputs to treat.
“We have gone through the list of 182 inmates, comprising convicted and awaiting trial, and we have decided, upon examination, that 15 inmates deserve to be released today. The basis of our decision is mainly because we think their detention is manifestly unlawful.
“We have seen that some of the cases are civil in nature and not criminal, which will not attract any arrest or detention. We also observed that in some cases, the instruments of arraignment are either defective or not available; no proceeding can issue out of invalid instruments. So we have taken steps to release these inmates.
“We also observed that there are some juveniles detained for belonging to a gang of thieves, through the facts contained in the First Information Report (FIR). We believe the facts do not support the allegations contained in the FIR. So we have ordered they be released forthwith.