The Lagos State governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has signed the release of 209 inmates being held in Correctional Centres across the state as a measure to curb the spread of coronavirus in the prisons.
The governor said the inmates had been granted prerogative of mercy.
“Dear people of Lagos, in the exercise of the powers conferred on me by Section 212 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended), I have, this afternoon, following the recommendation of the Advisory Council on Prerogative of Mercy, signed a Release Order releasing 209 inmates remanded in various correctional centres in Lagos State, ” he said.
He said the action is in the best interest of the state as there is a need to decongest correctional centres in view of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The governor said the release of the inmates is a part of a larger effort to bring lasting reform to the administration of criminal justice in the country.
While giving modalities for the release of the inmates, Mr Sanwo-Olu said the beneficiaries would be inmates above 60 years, those with less than six months to go on their sentence, those who have served 75 per cent of their sentence, those serving time for misdemeanours and minor offences, and those with physical and mental health issues.
Following the release order, decongestion of correctional centres across the state is expected to commence without delay, he added.