Sixteen inmates standing trail for various offenses in Lafia custodian centre of the Nigeria Correctional Service (NCS) have been discharged as part of commitment to decongest correctional facilities and to contain the spread of Novel Coronavirus pandemic in Nasarawa State.
The inmates regained their freedom at the instance of the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Tanko Mohammed who directed all the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) to decongest the facilities by discharging inmates.
The Chief Judge of Nasarawa State, Suleiman Dikko made this disclosure in Lafia during a special tour to decongest facilities as parts of measures to contain the spread of novel coronavirus pandemic.
The Chief Judge explained that they paid the fines of 16 released inmates who could not afford the payments to regain their freedom.
“We were directed by the CJN to decongest the custodian centres as parts of measures to contain the spread of COVID-19 in the facilities.
“So, I have paid their fines ranging from N30, 000 to N6, 000 so as to pave way for their release,” Dikko added.
He added that similar exercise would take place in other four federal custodian centres in Wamba, Keffi, Nasarawa and Umasha next week.
He however, warned the released inmates to avoid any act capable of bringing them back to the facilities.
The State Commissioner for Justice and Attorney-General, Abdulkarim Kana commended the Chief Judge for complying with the directive by the CJN.
He said that the action would further add value to the efforts of Governor Abdullahi Sule towards containing coronavirus pandemic in the state.
The Commissioner reiterated that the state government had recently released over 140 inmates to decongest the custodian centres.
He however, charged the beneficiaries to know that the situation out there is a bit different because of coronavirus and urged them to desist from committing any crime that could bring back to the facilities.
“Ordinary violation of the government’s directives on coronavirus alone could bring you back to the facilities.
“So, the situation now is not the same with what you people were used to in the past hence the need for all of you to be law abiding,” the Commissioner added.
Earlier, the Controller of Nigeria Correctional Service in the state, Emmanuel Okoro expressed gratitude to the CJ and his team for the visit.
He said that the visit would help in reducing the growth in their facilities thereby assist in the fight against the spread of COVID-19.
He therefore, urged the released inmates to repent in order to be reinterpreted back to the society.