The Chief Judge of Oyo State, Justice Munta Abimbola, on Thursday freed 49 awaiting trial inmates at Abolongo Prison in Oyo.
The News Agency of Nigeria recalled that the Chief Judge had on Tuesday released 59 inmates awaiting trial in Agodi Prison in Ibadan.
The latest released makes a total of 108 inmates released so far from the two prisons in the state.
NAN reports that seven out of the 49 inmates at Abolongo Prison had health challenges such as HIV, epilepsy, liver problem, among others.
The charges preferred against the freed inmates, include stealing, burglary and robbery while their detention ranged from two months to five years.
Abimbola said the visit was to ensure that speedy administration of justice was given to awaiting trial cases and to reduce congestion in the prison.
The chief judge said that he and the committee on speedy administration of justice in Oyo State were visiting the prison to enforce the fundamental human right of the inmates.
`Some of the inmates detained have been in the prison for long without knowing their fate and some were arrested unlawfully.
“The committee will not hesitate to release those deserved to be released because the prison is not a dumping ground.
“I have zero tolerance for delay trial, some inmates charged with capital offence have being in prison for five years awaiting legal advice.
“Some of the inmates awaiting trial were charged with capital offences and have being in prison for five years and still awaiting legal advice.
“Some whose legal advice have being issued, no facts have being provided.
“What is the essence of keeping them in prison when it is obvious that there was no facts to prosecute them,’’ Abimbola said.
He urged the Directorate of Public Prosecution and Oyo Special Anti-robbery Squad to change their attitude and prosecute their cases efficiently to reduce delay trial.
Abimbola advised the judges not to entertain undue adjournment of cases to ensure sanity in the court and cases of those in detention.
He promised that cases of accused not in detentions would be speedily dealt with.
“I urge the police and all the prosecuting agencies to be alive to their responsibility and work with the fear of God.
“Justice is not only for the complainant but also for defendant and the society.’’
In his contribution, Mr Ogunmola Tairudeen, Controller of Prisons, Oyo State Command, said that the total number of inmates in Abolong Prison was 321 while 282 were awaiting trial and 39 convicted.
Tairudeen, who said that the wind of change was blowing in the prison, commended the chief judge and his committee for their gesture and wisdom.