Nigeria

Presidential panel releases five inmates from Ilorin correctional centre

The Presidential Committee on Correctional Reform and Decongestion has set free five inmates from the Nigerian Maximum Security Correctional Centre in Ilorin, Kwara State, just as it recommended three others for bail.

The inmates were released on October 19, during a visit by the panel to the centre.

The chairman of the panel and former Chief Judge of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) High Court, Justice Ishaq Bello (rtd.), at the occasion, stated that the committee is mandated to visit correctional centres in the country and make a situational assessment of the condition of inmates and the environment they are in.

According to a statement by the Deputy Director, Press, Federal Ministry of Justice, Mrs Modupe Ogundoro, the chairman further stated that the committee is saddled with the responsibility of assessing and freeing inmates who meet the setdown criteria and paying fines for inmates who have the option of fine where appropriate.

The statement noted that others to be considered for release include the aged inmates, those with terminal illnesses, and inmates who have overstayed in relation to the offences being tried for.

“Furthermore, the chairman emphasized the committee’s mandate to ensure that correctional centres have skill acquisition centres that would rehabilitate and redefine inmates before they are released to integrate into the larger society. As part of the exercise, the committee inspected the tailoring and carpentry workshop of the centre.

“In the course of their visit, the committee released five inmates; of which fines were paid for two inmates while transportation money was given to the five released inmates by the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN), to convey them back to their various destinations. The committee also recommended three inmates for bail,” the statement added.

Ogundoro stated that the committee chairman, on behalf of Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo (SAN), made a presentation of some selected inspirational and motivational books to the correctional centre to encourage the reading culture of the inmates.

The panel expressed the belief that the books will positively impact the psyche of the inmates in terms of leading responsible lives devoid of crime and other misdeeds.

Bello explained that the books will expose inmates to love, forgiveness, having a positive attitude, honesty and consequences of action taken.

“The idea is to encourage the transformation and reformation of inmates,” he emphasized.

Earlier, in his welcome address, the Controller, Kwara State Command, NCS CC Baba Usman Aliyu, expressed optimism that the mission of the committee to the facility would be successful.

Speaking, the Chief Judge of Kwara State, Justice Suleiman Kawu, expressed the happiness of the state Judiciary to have the committee in the state and was positive that it would deliver on its mandate at the Maximum-Security Correctional Centre, Ilorin, in the spirit of decongestion and reformation.

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