The Chief Judge (CJ) of Oyo State, Justice Muntar Abimbola, has released 84 inmates from Agodi Prison in Ibadan, the state capital.
Of the figure, 67 were released after they had reportedly overstayed their terms in custody as well as on compassionate ground.
The CJ said 10 others were released on health grounds, following the recommendations of a collaborative effort between the state chapters of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) and the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), while seven others were released on the ground that they had no case to answer, which was also on the recommendation of the Directorate of Public Prosecution (DPP).
Those released on health grounds, according to prison officials, include one person suffering from chronic renal disease, two people diagnosed of multi-drug resistance tuberculosis, two suspected renal disease patients, one incarcerate scrotal hynea, one HIV/AIDS patient, one asthma and tuberculosis (TB) patient, one TB and lobar pneumonia patient.
More than four others had TB.
All the released inmates were men.
The amnesty, according to the CJ, was in exercise of his powers to visit the prisons and see how proceedings and trial of inmates had been going.
He said this would also help to decongest the prison.
The session, which held for about eight hours at the hall inside the Agodi Prisons, was witnessed by top judicial officers, prison officials, officials of the Directorate of Public Prosecution (DPP), the attorney-general, lawyers, prosecutors, police and officials of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA).
Justice Abimbola said: “This exercise, which is statutory, is expected to be frequent but as a result of other official duties and demand of the office, it is coming up now. This provisional visit is in exercise of a statutory provision to get trial inmates speedy trials and get the prison decongested.
“It is important and essential for us to visit the prisons, not necessarily to decongest the prison but to ensure inmates are given speedy trials. The power to decongest prison is not at our whims and caprices..”