The Cross River State Chief Judge, Justice Michael Edem has granted amnesty to One hundred and twenty two (122) inmates serving various jail terms in Calabar Prison, Afokang in Calabar, Cross River State capital.
The inmates were released with a view to decongest the prison. The Chief Judge said the reason behind the mass release of the inmates was to decongest the prison. “We are only doing the service of the Law under custody Act.
“It is not a matter of sentiment or emotion, it is just in service of the Law and we have done it to the full by releasing those who have been in Prison custody for more periods they could serve if they are convicted.
“And again, it was reported a while ago that the Prison walls was almost busting and the only way out is to do what we are doing today. We are not here for the general amnesty but for only those merited”
The Chief Judge, however, advised the released inmates to be of good behaviour when out of the four walls of the prison so as not to return back.
He also charged the department of Public Prosecution ( DPP) and the Police to do proper work by taking records of files of inmates before sending them to prison.
On his part, the Head of DPP, Mr. Okem Okem commended the Chief Judge for taking time to free dozens of inmates for the first time in the history of Cross River prison.
He also appealed to the CJ to see that the DPP and the police work together to avoid challenges of missing files of inmates.
While commending the CJ for the feat, the Comptroller of prison, Imaicop Ndaekong, lamented that the prison was originally designed to accommodate 450 inmates but the prison has been over populated with 822 Inmates.