Governor Akinwunmi Ambode, through the Lagos State Advisory Council on Prerogative of Mercy, on Thursday handed over an order to the Nigerian Prisons Service for the immediate release of 18 prisoners serving life sentences at the Kirikiri Maximum Prison.
Controller of Prisons in Lagos, Mr Olatunbosun Ladipo, received the order.
The 18 inmates, who included 15 males and three females jailed for various offences, and having spent more than 30 years in incarceration, were recommended for immediate release on compassionate grounds.
They were ordered to be released having been found to have fulfilled the very stringent conditions for their freedom.
Speaking at the small handing over ceremony held at the hall of the Kirikiri Maximum Prison, Chairman of the Lagos State Advisory Council on Prerogative of Mercy, Prof. Oyelowo Oyewo, applauded the benevolence of Governor 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 and into the larger society, adding that they must steer clear of every temptation that could make them a repeat offender and jeopardise the once in a lifetime opportunity.
Also speaking, Lagos State Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, 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.
Mr Kazeem, who was represented by Director of Legislative Drafting in the Ministry of Justice, Mrs Yejide Kolawole, advised 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 the governor 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 return to the larger society.
In his response, Mr Ladipo commended Governor Ambode for his efforts at ensuring the wellbeing of inmates in the prison through regular assistance.