Nine persons arrested and detained in Oyo Agodi Prison since 2020 have regained their freedom on Tuesday.
Reports say the ‘Oyo9’ were charged for offences ranging from murder to stealing of police rifles, setting the police station ablaze, among others, in connection to the 2020 protest against the defunct Special Anti-Robbery Squad unit of the Nigeria Force.
Releasing some inmates, Oyo State Chief Judge, Munga Abimbola, declared that prolonged detention was a breach of people’s constitutional right, reiterating that the stand of the law is that a person is presumed innocent until proven guilty.
The CJ made this declaration at the Agodi Custodial Centre of the Nigerian Correctional Service, where he visited, as part of a three-day tour of prisons within the state.
Confirming the release of the nine persons, an activist and the Oyo State leader of the Take It Back Movement, an organisation that had been calling for the release of the Oyo nine, Solomon Eniola, said, “We are just returning from the prison, the nine of them have gone home with their families.”
The TIB members had yesterday protested the continued detention of the Oyo9 following the release of the 58 detainees. They maintained that the Oyo9 should have been part of the people to be released.
The Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice in the state, Professor Oyelowo Oyewo, could not be reached for comments, as calls to his known line did not go through.
The News Agency of Nigeria also confirmed the release of the nine persons to our correspondent, noting that they were pardoned and released as a part of the exercise being conducted by the State Chief Judge to decongest the prisons.