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Presidential committee sets five free as it visits Ilorin Correctional centre

By Bridget Chiedu Onochie, Abuja
02 November 2021   |   2:17 am
The Presidential Committee, which was led by its chairman and former Chief Judge of the Federal Capital Territory High Court, Justice (Dr.) Ishaq Bello, freed the inmates last Tuesday in furtherance of its mandate..

Chief Judge of FCT High Court, Justice Ishaq Bello. Photo: NAN

The Presidential Committee, which was led by its chairman and former Chief Judge of the Federal Capital Territory High Court, Justice (Dr.) Ishaq Bello, freed the inmates last Tuesday in furtherance of its mandate, which is largely to decongest prisons across the federation.

Speaking during the exercise, Justice Bello stated that the committee’s mandate include visit to Correctional Centres in the country and make situational assessment of the condition of inmates and their environment.

“We are looking at the environment, medical facilities, hygiene and general cleanliness,” he said. He added that the Committee is also saddled with the responsibility of assessing and freeing inmates that meet the criteria, and pay fines for inmates who have option of fine where appropriate.

Others to be considered include, aged inmates, those with terminal illnesses and inmates who have over stayed in relation to the offences they are being tried for.

The chairman also emphasised on the committee’s mandate of ensuring provision of skill acquisition centres to rehabilitate and redefine inmates before their release and integration into the larger society.

As part of the exercise, the Committee inspected the tailoring and carpentry workshops at the Centre. The Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN), who was part of the delegation, paid fines for two inmates and provided them with money to transport themselves back to their homes.

The Committee chairman on behalf of the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo (SAN), presented some inspirational books to the centre to encourage reading culture among inmates.

The books were also aimed at positively impacting their psyches towards responsible live style. Justice Bello explained that the books would expose inmates to love, forgiveness, positive attitude, honesty and the ability to think of consequences of heir actions before taking them.

“The idea is to encourage the transformation and reformation of inmates,” he stated.  Earlier, the Controller, Kwara State Command, NCS, Baba Usman Aliyu, expressed optimism that the mission of the Committee to the facility would be successful.

Also, the Chief Judge of Kwara State, Justice Suleiman D. Kawu, was elated about the visit of the Committee to the State, stressing that it would positively impact the states Correctional Centre, particularly in the areas of decongestion and reformation.

Other members of the Committee include the Secretary and Acting Director, Administration of Criminal Justice Reform, Leticia Ayoola Daniels, ACG, Daniel Odharo, CP Shehu Usman Gwarzo and well as Mr. Tunde Ikusagba of the Legal Aid Council of Nigeria.

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