Centre for Justice Mercy and Reconciliation

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Oyo State Chief Judge Liberates 32 Inmates and Facilitates Rehabilitation for Ailing Prisoner through CJMR Partnership

Oyo State Chief Judge Liberates 32 Inmates and Facilitates Rehabilitation for Ailing Prisoner through CJMR Partnership

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The Chief Judge of Oyo State, Honorable Justice Iyabo Yerima, released 32 inmates from the Agodi Custodial Centre of the Nigeria Correctional Service on Monday. Thirty-one were released unconditionally, and the last one was sentenced to community service within the custodial center. This action was taken in accordance with Chapter 40 of the Laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the Administration of Criminal Justice Law (ACJL) of 2016, Oyo State, Nigeria, to alleviate overcrowding in the prison system and ensure that justice is manifestly served.

The first leg of the two-day program aimed at decongesting the overstretched prison facilities. During the exercise, Justice Yerima emphasized that suspects are presumed innocent until proven guilty and highlighted the need to address prison overcrowding to prevent disease outbreaks and undue incarceration.

Approximately 200 names were considered for release. The 32 individuals were selected due to unreasonable trial delays, being underage, or on compassionate health grounds. One critically ill inmate, Yusuf Lasisi, who suffers from a chronic ulcer and contracted tuberculosis in prison, was handed over to the NGO Centre for Justice Mercy and Reconciliation (CJMR) for rehabilitation. Lasisi, accused of stealing a laptop with two others in April 2019, remained in custody after his co-accused were granted bail. A native of Abeokuta, Ogun State, Lasisi found mercy before the Chief Judge, and his rehabilitation became a concern when a judge familiar with CJMR’s work recommended the NGO to Justice Yerima. Pastor Hezekiah Olujobi of CJMR was called upon to assist.

Pastor Olujobi, who was at the custodial center to present cases to the Chief Judge, accepted the responsibility to help Lasisi, describing him as a “dilapidated building that needs to be rebuilt.” He emphasized the need to help Lasisi regain his health.

Justice Yerima’s actions reflect nonjudgmental kindness, freeing individuals regardless of their alleged offenses. Yusuf Lasisi, who lost both parents long ago and has a sibling at Omi-Adio, was one such individual. Many inmates lose their lives post-release due to lack of care, highlighting the importance of continued support.

Yusuf Lasisi is currently receiving treatment at Jubilee Hospital, Ibadan, which partners with CJMR to assist former inmates with health issues. His daily nutritional needs cost around 6,000 Naira. A strong appeal is being made for kind-hearted individuals to support Yusuf Lasisi’s recovery.

Donations can be made to the following account:
Account Number: 1012189729
Bank: Zenith Bank PLC
Account Name: Centre for Justice.

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Centre for Justice Mercy and Reconciliation