The Presidential Committee on Correctional Reform and Decongestion has set free five and recommended three inmates for bail from the Nigerian Maximum Security Correctional Centre in Ilorin, Kwara State.
The Presidential Committee led by its Chairman and former Chief Judge of the FCT High Court, Hon. Justice (Dr.) Ishaq Bello (Rtd.) had in furtherance of its mandate on Tuesday 19th October, 2021 visited the Maximum-Security Correctional Centre in Ilorin, Kwara State.
Speaking during the exercise, Hon. Justice (Dr.) Bello (Rtd.) stated that the Committee is mandated to visit Correctional Centres in the country and make situational assessment of the condition of inmates and the environment they are in.
“We are looking at the environment, medical facilities, hygiene and general cleanliness”, he said.
He further stated that the Committee is saddled with assessing and freeing inmates who meet the set down criteria and pay fines for inmates who have option of fine where appropriate.
Others to be considered according to him were aged inmates, those with terminal illnesses, and inmates who have over stayed in relation to the offences being tried for.
Furthermore, the Chairman emphasized on the Committee’s mandate to ensure that Correctional Centres have skill acquisition Centres that would rehabilitate and redefine inmates before they are released to integrate into the larger society. As part of the exercise, the Committee inspected the Tailoring and Carpentry workshop of the Centre.
In the course of their visit, the Committee released five inmates; of which fines were paid for two inmates while transportation money was given to the five released inmates by the Honourable Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, SAN., to convey them back to their various destinations. The Committee also recommended three inmates for Bail.
The Committee Chairman on behalf of the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, SAN made presentation of some selected inspirational and motivational books to the Correctional Centre to encourage the reading culture of the inmates. It is believed that the books will positively impact on the psyche of the inmates in terms of leading responsible lives devoid of crime and other misdeeds.
Bello explained that the books will expose inmates to love, forgiveness, having a positive attitude, honesty and consequences of action taken. “The idea is to encourage the transformation and reformation of inmates”, he emphasized.
Earlier, in his welcome address, the Controller, Kwara State Command, NCS CC Baba Usman Aliyu expressed optimism that the mission of the Committee to the facility would be successful.
Speaking, the Chief Judge of Kwara State, Hon. Justice Suleiman D. Kawu expressed happiness of the State Judiciary to have the Committee in the Kwara State and was positive that it would deliver on its mandate at the Maximum-Security Correctional Centre, Ilorin in the spirit of decongestion and reformation.
Other members of the Committee on the visitation were the Committee’s Secretary/ Acting Director, Administration of Criminal Justice Reform, Leticia Ayoola Daniels, ACG Daniel Odharo (Representative the Nigeria Correctional Service), CP Shehu Usman Gwarzo (Representative of the Nigeria Police Force), Mr. Tunde Ikusagba (Legal Aid Council of Nigeria), Mrs. Chika Nnamani-Kuku (Representative of the DPPF) and Mr. Felix Ota-Okojie (FJSRC).
Joining the Committee were Chief Judge of Kwara State, Hon. Justice Suleiman D. Kawu, Solicitor General who represented the Attorney General and Commissioner of Justice, Kwara State, CC Baba Usman Aliyu, Controller Kwara State Command, NCS among others, according to Modupe Ogundoro, Deputy Director, Ministry of Justice.