The Federal Government has released 150 inmates sentenced to various terms of imprisonment with the option of a fine or compensation in custodial centres in Kano State.
The Minister of Interior, Dr. Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo, while flagging off the exercise at the Kano maximum security custodial centre, said the pardon is in a bid to decongest custodial centres and make them humane for proper reformation and rehabilitation of offenders to take place.
Represented by Dr. Nzekwe Anayo, the minister said, “Most of the benefiting inmates were on the verge of their freedom and are indigents who cannot afford to pay their fines and are languishing in custody.
“The sum of N 585,000,000.00 was raised by philanthropic individuals, groups, and corporate bodies as part of their corporate social responsibility for this purpose nationwide, out of which the sum of 13,436,780.00 was spent in Kano State.
“All inmates in custodial centres who have fines or compensation not exceeding N1,000,000.00 are qualified and would benefit from this gesture. In addition, we are also providing each of them a stipend to enable them to return to their communities.
“Suffice it to mention at this point that we are not just releasing them to their fates; we have given them requisite training aimed at impacting their lives functionally and equipping them with the knowledge for their self-reliance upon discharge. The training also covers their civic duties and responsibilities as citizens and strategies for refraining from reoffending.”
The minister also explained that the exercise is in line with President Bola Tinubu’s mantra of renewed hope, saying the benefiting inmates have been given a second opportunity to get back on track and contribute to the ongoing development of the nation.
The minister therefore implored them to see this as a second chance to make things right again and advised them to stay away from crime and criminality.
Also, the Controller General of Corrections, Halliru Nababa, acknowledged the Minister’s dedication and commitment to the cause of reformation, rehabilitation, and reintegration of inmates back into society as law-abiding citizens.
He pointed out, “As we all know, custodial centres nationwide are congested; the Federal Government therefore recently launched a programme aimed at reducing custodial centre congestion. This initiative, through “Fine Paid and Compensation,” has already made a significant impact on the lives of numerous inmates across the country.”