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Lagos CJ to release awaiting trial inmates

Chief Judge of Lagos Justice Ayotunde Phillips will visit the four prisons in the state this week as part of the activities marking the 2013/2014 legal year.

The exercise is aimed at decongesting the prisons.

It is in accordance with the powers conferred on the Chief Judge by Section 1(1) of the Criminal Justice Release from Custody Special Provision Act CAP C40, 2007 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria.

According to the programme of activities for the new legal year, Justice Phillips will lead other senior members of the judiciary, the civil society, leaders of the Ikeja and Lagos branches of theNigerian Bar Association (NBA), among others, on a visit to the Kirikiri Maximum and Medium Security Prisons and the Female Security Prisons on September 25.

The prison visit will be rounded off on Thursday, September 26, with a visit to the Ikoyi Prison.

Informed sources said those who have been in prison custody awaiting trial for three years and above and have been found worthy of release by the civil society and officials of the Office of the Public Defender (OPD) would be released.

It was learnt that the OPD had investigated charges and offences that brought the awaiting trials.

Justice Phillips has so far released 375 awaiting trial inmates from the four prisons in Lagos since assuming office as the Chief Judge last year.

The week-long activities will begin on September 23, with a service that will hold simultaneously at the Cathederal Church of Christ, Marina and the Lagos Central Mosque, Nnamdi Azikwe Street, Lagos at 9.00 am.

On Tuesday, September 24, Justice Phillips will lead other judges to the stakeholders summit titled: “Judiciary Information System (JIS): Introduction to e-filing and an Appraisal of the High Court of Lagos State (Civil Procedure Rule) 2012”.

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