About sixty-one inmates jailed by the River State Government have regained their freedom, following President Muhammadu Buhari’s directives to decongest the Nigerian Correctional Centres, so as to contain the spread of Coronavirus.
Chief Judge of Rivers State, Justice Adama Iyayi Lamikanra, while freeing the inmates, charged them to shun crime and become agent of positive change to the society.
Justice Lamikanra admonished the pardoned inmates to engage themselves in meaningful skills that will help them earn a living, stressing that they may not get the opportunity again, should they continue in crime.
“By the directive given by the Federal government that we should release inmates serving sentences for minor offences, these inmates have benefited from this exercise
” Many of them are very young people from ages 21 to 27 years. I urge you to engage yourselves in useful activities to earn a living, you can work, you can farm, learn a skill or trade, do not go back to committing crime, it does not pay, you may not be that lucky next time”
On his part, Comptroller of Nigerian Correction Centre, Rivers State Command, Olumide Tinuoye, said the pardon of the inmates under state offence is to decongest prisons in the State due to the COVID 19 pandemic.
“For this social distancing due to COVID-19, the prison is congested and we made our move so that some inmates can be released. Today that the Chief Judge has carried out that function we are indeed happy.
” We want to thank the state government. Some weeks ago two inmates serving life imprisonment were granted full pardon and they have been released.
“We have been able to release five federal offenders from custody. I am very happy that a total of sixty-one inmates were released today, because some of them that may have been thinking they will not get out of prison alive have today gotten their freedom”
Our correspondent Tina Amanda reports that the released inmates are forty-six who were convicted and sixteen who were awaiting trials from the Port Harcourt, Degema, and Ahoada prisons.