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Governor Ganduje Frees 294 Prisoners in Kano

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Ganduje

Governor Abdullahi Ganduje of Kano State has freed 294 inmates of correctional centres in the state.

In a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Abba Anwar, Governor Ganduje witnessed the release of the inmates from the correctional centre at Goron Dutse on Sunday.

The governor was accompanied to the centre by his deputy, Nasiru Gawuna, and the Emir of Kano, Aminu Ado Bayero.

Governor Ganduje stated that the gesture was in the spirit of Eid-El Fitr.

Ths statement reads, “The governor also said that the gesture was to complement the Federal Government’s efforts to further reduce congestion in the nation’s correctional centres.

“Ganduje also recalled that President Muhammadu Buhar‎i had directed governors to decongest correctional centres to help observe COVID-19’s social distancing protocol.

“It is based on that directive that in the last two months the state has released 603 inmates. The goal is to decongest Correctional Centres. We hope that they will be of good character henceforth,” the statement said.

It said that the governor also gave each of the freed inmates N5,000 as transport fare to their destinations.

According to the statement, the Comptroller of Prisons, Abdullahi Magaji, commended Ganduje for donating 30 hectares of land to the Federal Government for the construction of a modern Correctional Centre.

Magaji advised the freed inmates to be of good character and stay off crimes to avoid going back to prison.

The Nigeria Correctional Service (NCS), Anambra Command, says it has so far released more than 454 inmates from its custodian centres across the state, in a bid to decongest prisons due to dreaded coronavirus pandemic.

Mr Emmanuel Nwakaeze, the state Controller of the Service disclosed in Awka on Sunday, explained that 54 inmates with federal offences received presidential amnesty under prerogative of mercy of the governor.

He added that while about 400 others were released on bail by the State’s Chief Judge from the four custodian centres in Nnewi, Onitsha, Ekwulobia and Awka.

Nwakaeze said the service presently has a total of 1720 inmates, adding “apart from the number already released, we are compiling list of awaiting trial inmates that have stayed more than five years so as to release them in furtherance to decongest the four centres.

“While this is done, my office has stepped up sensitisation campaign in all the centres with the aim to making the inmates being release to understand that it was God that gave them the opportunity courtesy of the coronavius pandemic.

“I drum it into their ears that any of them who so benefit from the gesture must be of good behaviour because coronavius pandemic does not occur every now and then,’’ he said.

Nwakaeze, who gave reasons for the stoppage of visitors to Nigeria Correctional Service and Custodian Centres, explained that the action was in line with the directive of the Controller General of the Service, Mr Ja’afaru Ahmed to avoid the spread of coronavirus to its facilities.

“Since the outbreak of the dreaded coronavirus in our country, the management lined out measures to ensure the safety of inmates and very prompt among the measures was the stoppage of people from visiting the inmates in our custodies.

“Rather than allow people whose status cannot be readily ascertain, we now advise people to bring cash or raw food items for such to prepare and give to the inmates ourselves because that for us is better than to expose them to COVID-19 risk,’’ he said.

He said, so far a number of personalities including Most Rev. Valerian Okeke, the Catholic Archbishop of Onitsha Diocese, and Mrs Ebelechukwu Obiano, wife of Anambra State Governor etc. have donated food items to the inmates.

Nwakaeze did not dispel nor accept the report that the organisation now rejects fresh persons sent to their custodies, but simply said, “we are abiding by health protocols to protect those already in our centres.’’

He further said that the NCS authorities across the nation have beefed up its intelligence gathering department as well as fortified security around all the custodian centres with a view to preventing any attack or jail break.

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