June 11, 2024

Uba Sani frees 110 Kaduna inmates to commemorate June 12

Uba Sani frees 110 Kaduna inmates to commemorate June 12

By Ibrahim Hassan-Wuyo, Kaduna

Governor Uba Sani of Kaduna State has secured the release of 110 inmates from the Kaduna Correctional Centre, as part of activities lined up for the celebration of the 2024 June 12 Democracy Day.

The tovernor together with a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Femi Falana, visited the Correctional Centre on Tuesday, where he said the gesture was part of efforts of his government to decongest the prisons and give second chance to deserving inmates.

He said out of the number, 22 convicts would be released on pardon under the prerogative of mercy powers conferred on him by Section 212 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended).

The remaining 88 convicts consists of those who have been convicted with option of fine ranging from ten thousand naira above while others have compensation to pay to their victims ranging from one hundred and fifty thousand and above.

He said in some cases, some of the convict have both fines and compensation elements, adding that they were concerned on the high rate of inmates either awaiting trial or those whose trial have begun but still on-going among others while those who have been convicted with fine or option of fine also make the number.

“This is more worrisome to me considering the capacity of our custodial centres in Kaduna State. The initial capacity was 500 but upgraded now to 1,100. The custodial centers have been over-stretched. We now have a total number of 3,000 inmates.

“I came to this Custodial Center today with mixed feelings. We are celebrating our Democracy Day; a day set aside to pay tribute to those who made sacrifices so that we can live in freedom. I am also here to see our brothers and sisters who found themselves on the wrong side of the law,”

He said no society can exist and endure without law and order, revealing that, Citizens must at all times desist from criminal activities and obey constituted authorities.

“Our administration is anchored on Justice and Fairness. We are committed to bringing succour to the poor, vulnerable and underserved in Kaduna State. We have zero tolerance for discrimination.

“We strongly believe that there is inherent goodness in every person. We believe that everybody deserves a second chance. Persons in custodial centers can turn a new leaf and contribute to the growth and development of our state.”

He urged the released inmates to reciprocate the gesture to be of good character henceforth, and urged them to acquire skills.

“Our administration is eager and willing to assist you in acquiring skills. It is not too late to be useful to yourself, your family and to society.”

He appreciated the officers and men of the Correctional Service, especially those of Kaduna Command for their efforts in ensuring an atmosphere of peace and calm in the custodial centres, saying government will install facilities like solar lights in the centre.

The Senior Advocate of Nigeria SAN Mr Femi Falana, in his remarks, urged the Governor to mandate all Chief Magistrates in the State to visit Police detention facilities at least once in a month, saying that, that is the best way to prevent unnecessary arrest and congestion of the prison.

He said Correctional Service has been removed from the exclusive list to concurrent list andvurged Governors to invest in the upgrade of facilities in the correctional centres in Nigeria.

The Senior Advocate commended Governor Uba Sani for his gesture by granting pardon to 22 convicted inmates and securing release of 88 awaiting trial inmates, he further advised the released inmates to stay away from crimes capable of bringing them back to the prison.

The Controller of Correctional Service in Kaduna, Isah Mohammed Nuru said the Custodial Centre in Kaduna and its environ are facing challenges ranging from high number of Awaiting Trial Inmates, Operational Vehicles to convey inmates to courts, as those in use are inadequate.

“We also have the need for 18-seater bus which can be used in carrying special class of inmates to Courts. Sir, there are also some basic needs that will help in smooth running of the Centre such as: Solar light which will assists in lighting the Centre in the night when light goes off. We also need Solar Bore Hole to assist in Shortage of water in the Centre,” he added.