July 20, 2024

Governor Uba Sani of Kaduna State has facilitated the release of 110 inmates from the Kaduna Correctional Centre in celebration of the 2024 June 12 Democracy Day.

This initiative, aimed at decongesting the overcrowded prison and offering a second chance to deserving inmates, was carried out during a visit to the Kaduna Custodial Centre. The visit included prominent rights activist and Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Femi Falana.

Governor Sani explained that among the released, 22 convicts were pardoned under the prerogative of mercy powers granted to him by Section 212 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended). The remaining 88 inmates were those convicted with an option of fine ranging from N10,000 and above, or who had compensation obligations to their victims ranging from N150,000 and above.

Expressing concern over the high number of inmates awaiting trial or undergoing trial, Governor Sani highlighted the severe overcrowding in Kaduna’s custodial centres. Initially designed for 500 inmates and later upgraded to accommodate 1,100, these centres now hold around 3,000 inmates. “This is more worrisome to me considering the capacity of our custodial centres in Kaduna State,” he stated.

Governor Sani emphasized the significance of Democracy Day as a tribute to those who sacrificed for freedom, and he urged the released inmates to uphold good behavior moving forward.

Femi Falana, in his remarks, praised the governor’s efforts and recommended that all chief magistrates in Kaduna State visit police detention facilities at least once a month to prevent unnecessary arrests and further congestion. He commended the governor for his gesture and advised the released inmates to avoid actions that could lead them back to prison.

Earlier, the Controller of Correctional Service in Kaduna, Isah Mohammed Nuru, outlined the challenges faced by the custodial centre, including a high number of awaiting trial inmates and inadequate operational vehicles for transporting inmates to court.

Governor Sani’s actions not only mark a significant step towards prison decongestion but also symbolize the commitment to justice and reform on Democracy Day.

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