The Nasarawa State Government has released 36 inmates in the state’s correctional centre to reduce overcrowding.
The inmates, who are prisoners mostly awaiting trials and convicts, were released by State Governor Abdullahi Sule who visited the correctional facility in Lafia on Wednesday.
The Lafia Correctional Centre is one of the six prisons in the state, located along Doma Road, Lafia City and is known to be overstretched presently with mostly awaiting trials inmates.
Speaking while presiding over the release of the prisoners, Governor Sule said the move was to mark the June 12 Democracy Day.
‘I am glad to be here. By law, it is the responsibility on the part of leaders to forgive when it is time to forgive because God forgives us. When I looked at the faces of these inmates, I discovered they are young people who are our children. I feel they should be given another chance, that is why they have stayed long here for their life to be corrected as the name of the centre implies.
‘I can well describe today as a day of happiness for all of us. I mean the government and people of the state, as well as all the inmates that are being released today. We hope that you will be of good character in your life henceforth.’
The governor, who also spoke in Hausa, advised the freed inmates to make themselves useful to society by applying all the skills they have learnt at the correctional centres, pledging to provide sewing and welding machines and other mechanical equipment that would assist them to better their lives.
He further presented a donation of two hundred and fifty thousand naira to the Comptroller of the correctional centre to be giving to the released inmates to transport them back to their various homes.
Speaking earlier, the Comptroller, the Nasarawa State Correctional Centre, Yahuza Alyu, commended the state governor for the gesture which, according to him, would go a long way in reducing overcrowding in the prison.
Yahuza particularly appreciated Governor Sule for the recent peace experienced in the state explaining that when he arrived in Lafia as the new comptroller of the Command, he was informed of the various support the governor gave the command.
‘Thirty-six inmates were granted amnesty. We are so happy and we really appreciate your efforts. When I arrived I heard about the assistance, apart from education.’
Also speaking at the event, the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Dr Abdulkareem Kana, provided more insight into some of the measures put in place by the government of the state in making the release more effective and realistic.
Dr Kana said it is the fifth time in the last two years that the governor was visiting the correctional centre for the purpose of granting amnesty to inmates, adding that the thirty-six beneficiaries were released by the governor to mark this year’s Democracy Day.