Coronavirus: 3,751 Prison Inmates Released So Far Over Covid- 19



By James Ameh

ABUJA:  About 3,751 prisoners have so far been released by the Nigerian Correctional Service NCoS, the authorities have said.

Those released included those already convicted but serving light sentences or others awaiting trials over light offences.

A presidential panel had recommended decongestion of the prisons following the Coronavirus pandemic and the need for human distancing.

President Muhammadu Buhari had ordered the decongestion of custodial centres in the country in a bid to win the fight against the pandemic.

As a result of the development, the Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola said during the flag -off of the Presidential Amnesty at the Medium Security Custodial Centre in Kuje, Abuja on April 9, that 2, 600 inmates would benefit from the release in the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory, FCT.

A statement by the NCoS Public Relations Officer, Austin Njoku noted that some states Chief Judges during their jail delivery processes  however released some other awaiting trial persons leading to release of more inmates leading to 3,751 inmates.

"The NCoS wishes to state that the process is ongoing, as other measures are in place to ensure continuity and the final figures will be made public at the end of the exercise. 

"A breakdown of the release shows that 2, 740 convicts and 1, 011 Awaiting Trial Inmates have so far benefited from the exercise.

"The Controller General of Corrections Ja’afaru Ahmed wishes to use this medium to express his profound gratitude to all the State Governors, Chief Judges and other stakeholders in the Criminal Justice System who have work tirelessly to carry out this exercise and encourage its continuity. 

"The Service is assuring that all inmates qualified for the amnesty and jail delivery will be released accordingly,", h6he statement added.