The Federal Government, in its effort to decongest prisons nationwide, has freed 150 inmates from the Maximum Security Custodial Centre Janguza in Kano State.
This is just as the federal government disclosed that the sum of N13.4 million was spent in Kano State out of N585 million raised by philanthropic individuals, groups, and corporate bodies as part of their corporate social responsibility for this purpose nationwide.’’
The Minister of Interior, Dr Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo, who was represented by the Assistant Director in the Ministry of Interior, Dr Anayo Romanus-Nzekwe, on Thursday in Kano, said the release of 150 inmates out of the 4,068 nationwide was part of President Bola Tinubu’s mantra of renewed hope.
They were given N10,000 each to enable them to return to their various homes and villages.
According to him, “The Federal Government wants to decongest custodial centres and make them humane for proper reformation and rehabilitation of offenders to take place.”
He said that “the released inmates were sentenced to various terms of imprisonment with the option of a fine and compensation, cannot afford to pay their fines, and are languishing in custody.
He further disclosed that all inmates in custodial centres who have fines and compensation not exceeding N1 million were qualified and would benefit from this gesture.
His words: “We have given the inmates the requisite training aimed at impacting their lives functionally and equipping them with the knowledge for their self-reliance upon discharge.’’
He then called on the public and communities to receive the returning citizens (inmates) with open arms and refrain from stigmatising them, as it could drive them back to committing offences, which would further endanger society.
Ojo, however, advised the inmates to see the initiative as a second chance to make things right again, adding that they should “stay off crime and criminality and join hands with our father, President Bola Tinubu, to make Nigeria a great nation.
He also advises them to “abide by the instructions and training you have received while in custody and be good ambassadors in your communities.” Tunji-Ojo said
Speaking on the occasion, the Controller General of Corrections, Mr. Halliru Nababa, commended the Minister of Interior for securing the release of 150 inmates sentenced with options of fine by various courts in Kano State.
The CG, represented by the Controller of Corrections, Kano State Command, Suleiman Inuwa, said the “fine pay and compensation” has already had a significant impact on the lives of numerous inmates across the country.
He appealed to the inmates not to return to crime and criminality and to make judicious use of the transport fare given to them to start a small business that would help them earn a living.