By Omeiza Ajayi, Abuja
The Nigerian Correctional Service NCoS said 3, 751 inmates including convicts and awaiting trial persons have so far been released in line with a presidential directive on the decongestion of custodial centres in the wake of the Covid-19 Pandemic.
It would be recalled that President Muhammadu Buhari had ordered the decongestion of custodial centres in the country to sustain the fight against the spread of Covid-19.
Consequently, the Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola had on April 9 during the flag-off of the Presidential Amnesty at the Medium Security Custodial Centre in Kuje, Abuja announced that a total of 2, 600 inmates will benefit from the release across the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory.
The NCoS in a statement by its Public Relations Officer, DCC Austin Njoku explained that some states Chief Judges during the jail delivery processes however granted bail/release to some awaiting trial persons culminating in the release of 3,751 inmates so far.
“The NCoS wishes to state that the process is ongoing, as other measures are in place to ensure continuity and the final figures will be made public at the end of the exercise.
“A breakdown of the release shows that 2, 740 convicts and 1, 011 Awaiting Trial Inmates have so far benefited from the exercise.
“The Controller General of Corrections Ja’afaru Ahmed wishes to use this medium to express his profound gratitude to all the State Governors, Chief Judges and other stakeholders in the Criminal Justice System who have work tirelessly to carry out this exercise and encourage its continuity.
“The Service is assuring that all inmates qualified for the amnesty and jail delivery will be released accordingly”, the statement added.