Rivers Chief Judge (CJ), Justice Adama Lamikara, has released 55 prison inmates from Port Harcourt maximum security prison.
She released them on Thursday during Goal Delivery programme in the prison premises.
Out of the 55, three were armed robbery suspects that had spent between 12 and 14 years in custody without trial.
One out of the 55 released persons was an under aged person, who spent about one year in custody, while one was released on bail.
Addressing the released persons at the end of the exercise, the Chief Judge warned them to be of good behaviour or face the full wrath of the law if brought back to prison.
She advised the people to seek employment and engage in meaningful ventures, rather than involving in crimes.
“Don’t go back to crime. Don’t come to Port Harcourt to constitute problems to innocent persons,” she said.
About 90 per cent of the offences committed by the freed persons was stealing.
“Most of them confessed to the crime and pleaded with the court to forgive them, and promised not to steal again.
Some of the freed inmates from the northern states said that they would leave Port Harcourt immediately they were set free and never to come back.
The CJ had in her opening remarks assured that she would not treat cases that were on-going in courts.
She said that she would collaborate with Rivers Attorney-General (AG) and Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) to release those Gov Nyesome Wike had earlier granted pardon.
Lamikara assured that she would conduct the Goal Delivery exercise more regularly.
The CJ had on November 14 released 21 awaiting trial inmates from Degema prison bringing the total of released persons to 76.
The Port Harcourt prison was built 100 years ago by the colonial government to house about 100 inmates, but today houses 1,106 inmates.
Some prison officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said they were happy that the prison population was reduced by 55, making their management less challenging.