Ado — Ekiti - The Chief Judge of Ekiti State, Justice Ayodeji Daramola, on Friday ordered the release of 27 inmates who have been on awaiting trial list for a long time.
He gave the order during an official visit to Ado-Ekiti Federal Prison in Ado-Ekiti.
Daramola, who also granted bail to seven inmates, expressed dismay at the congestion in cells in the state.
He criticised the inadequate facilities in all the prisons.
"Today we have attended to 292 cases awaiting trial; 27 were released outright and seven others were granted bail, based on unfounded claim of offence, health condition and long stay in detention without any evidence to try them," Daramola said.
In an interview with journalists, the chief judge said the aim of the visit was to remove congestion in the prison.
"We visited the prison to ensure that those detained are justifiably detained," he said.
He said the judicial system needed to be reformed to make prisons serve the purpose for which they were established.
Daramola called for cooperation between Ekiti State Judiciary and officials of the Nigeria Prison Service, Ekiti command.
He said such partnership would facilitate speedy processing of cases and help to eliminate congestion in prisons.
The Comptroller of Prisons in Ekiti State, Mr Tajudeen Aremu, said prisons officials would always cooperate with the state judiciary.
Aremu appealed to other stakeholders and agencies to assist his command in the area of infrastructure and sponsorship of workshops to facilitate operation.