Governor Sule Grants Freedom To 60 Inmates


Sixty inmates from custodial centres of the Nigeria correctional service in Nasarawa State have been granted freedom by Governor Abdullahi Sule.

The move which is to mark the governor’s 60th birthday is also a step towards decongesting custodial centres in the state.

15 inmates were granted mercy and fines settled for 45 of them selected from all the custodial centres in the state bringing the number to 60.

According to the state Attorney General, Barrister Abdulkareem Kana, The Nasarawa State government is already working towards decongesting custodial centres across the state.

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“The governor craves the indulgence of the chief judge of the state to grant bail that merits the condition so that together, the executive and the judiciary will ensure that the state custodial centres contain only those that deserve to remain,” he said.

The governor who led a delegation to the Lafia custodial centre was showered with felicitations which were wrapped with the challenges bedevilling the centre.

Abdullahi Salihu, Deputy Controller, Lafia Custodial Centre listed their plights in this order, “This custodial centre depends solely on boreholes which were donated to us by the state government over twenty years ago, the overhead tank of our reservoir is old, rusted and leaking and needs replacement while the generator powering the borehole is weak and needs replacement too. If one pays a visit to this place at night, it will be so dark as most of the cells are powered by the Solar lighting system which has gone bad two years ago and our cries for repairs have not been heard yet.

“The septic tank is overflowing and it’s always a source of conflict between us and our neighbors. We have only two vehicles to convey inmates to the courts which are grossly inadequate.”.

Happy with the warm reception, the governor Abdullahi Sule gave an immediate order to concerned bodies in that regard.

“I am going to give a mandate to the urban development board immediately to come and fix it, they should also do same to the suck away because it is going to be a catastrophe not just for you but the families surrounded here and this is a period where we are battling with the issues of sanitation.

“I will ask the Chairman of Lafia local government to replicate the installation of solar panels here and the same with chairmen of Nasarawa, Wamba, and Keffi so that they can provide solar power in all the centres that we have.”

From the Lafia custodial centre, the Governor led his delegation to the Nasarawa State children’s home where he shared moments with the orphans.

He reiterated his plan is to improve the lots of his people particularly the vulnerable ones even away from celebrations.

Europe’s Prisons Not Monitoring Inmates’ Health, Says WHO


Prison authorities in Europe are not doing enough to monitor the health of inmates, meaning prisoners are more likely to suffer untreated conditions and are released without adequate support, the World Health Organisation said Thursday.

The UN body warned that such failings will come at a “high cost” for society at large as they add to the public health burden.

The WHO collected the data of 39 European countries between 2016 and 2017 and recommended that prisons test for tuberculosis, sexually transmitted diseases, mental health problems, and addictions.

“A prison sentence takes away a person’s liberty; it should not also take away their health and their right to health,” said Dr Bente Mikkelsen of WHO’s Europe branch, according to a statement from the body.

She said the prison population has a “disproportionate disease burden”.

“To achieve universal health coverage and better health and well-being for all, as in WHO’s vision, it is vital that prisons are seen as a window of opportunity to change lifestyles and ensure that no one is left behind,” she said.

The WHO said in a statement on its report that it found “the general state of monitoring and surveillance systems for health in prisons is poor”.

It warned prisoners with undiagnosed and untreated health conditions will “add to the public health burden in the outside community after their release”.

The report said that mental health was a key issue, especially after release, when prisoners are most at risk of suicide, self-harm and drug overdoses.

WHO said this meant care during the transition phase was “critical”.

The report found that 13.5 percent of deaths in prison were caused by suicide and that 14 percent of EU states do not screen for severe mental health disorders on arrival in prison.

Europe’s prisons also have a reoccurring problem of overcrowding, which can affect the health of detainees.

An estimated 6 million people are being incarcerated each year in the region, according to WHO.

Eight countries including France, Italy, and Portugal have “a serious overall problem” with overcrowding, according to a 2018 study by the Council of Europe.


Lagos Govt Pardons 14 Inmates After 20 Years

Lagos Govt Pardons 14 Inmates After 20 Years
Lagos State Governor Akinwunmi Ambode (file)


The Lagos State Government, through the Advisory Council on Prerogative of Mercy, has pardoned 14 inmates of the Maximum Security Prison in Kirikiri.

Those pardoned had been imprisoned for more than 20 years for various offences, while 20 others on death row had their punishment converted to life imprisonment.

The state’s Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr Adeniji Kazeem, disclosed this on Friday while handing over the order for the release of the inmates signed by Governor Akinwunmi Ambode to the prison authorities.

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He said the development was pursuant to the constitutional provision which provided for the setting up of an advisory council and empowered the governor to grant clemency to convicted persons on the advice of the council.

“Prerogative of Mercy is a right recognised under the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended),” the commissioner stated.

He added, “Section 212(2) of the Constitution provides that the powers conferred on the Governor under Section 212(1) shall be exercised by him after consultation with the Advisory Council of the State on the Prerogative of Mercy as may be established by the Law of the State.”

The attorney general explained that the inmates were considered to benefit from the prerogative of mercy after due examination of their case files, which revealed that they have been reformed and ready for re-integration into the society.

Kazeem, who is also a member of the Council, congratulated the inmates and advised them to be of good conduct outside the prison.

In his remarks, Chairman of the Council, Professor Oyelowo Oyewo, said aside from its power under the Constitution, the setting up of the council also served as a way of decongesting the prisons.

He equally congratulated the beneficiaries of the clemency by the governor and asked them to avoid acts that led them to into prison in the first place.

The newly deployed Controller of Prison in charge of Kirikiri Maximum Prison, Emmanuel Oluwaniyi, commended the state government for its efforts at de-congesting prisons in the state.

He said it was gratifying that he commenced his stewardship in Lagos on a good note with the release of inmates who were due to be re-integrated into the society.

Other members of the Lagos State Advisory Council on Prerogative of Mercy who visited the prison include Mrs Yemisi Ogunlola (Secretary), Mr Adedotun Adetunji, Mrs Musili Onasanya, and Mr Olumide Oniyire, among others.

40 Inmates Regain Freedom In Ogun

40 Inmates Regain Freedom In Ogun


Forty inmates serving jail terms in prisons in Ogun State have regained freedom after meeting certain conditions.

The inmates were set free by the Chief Judge of the state, Mrs Mosunmola Dipeolu, who visited the prisons in Ijebu Ode and Sagamu towns of the state on Wednesday.

Justice Dipeolu, however, warned those who regained freedom to be good ambassadors of their family and the state in general.

She explained that the development was aimed at improved justice delivery in Ogun and part of measures to decongest prisons in the state.

Some of the persons freed after the documentation and review of the level of the crime they committed were those awaiting trials for a long time.

One of them was a 45-year-old father of five, Oluwatosin Seriki, who was charged with robbery and had been awaiting trial since 2011.

The Chief Judge, thereafter, warned the residents of the state against stigmatising the freed persons.

She further announced that the state government would establish courts at various prisons across the state.

Justice Dipeolu explained that this would ensure effective dispensation of justice, quality service delivery, and decongestion of prisons in the state.

She was accompanied on the visit by the Director of Public Prosecution, as well as some judges and magistrates in the Ogun.

2019 Elections: Court Orders INEC To Register Inmates

2019 Elections: Court Orders INEC To Register Inmates


A Court of Appeal sitting in Benin City, the Edo State capital has ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to ensure inmates are included on the National Voters’ Register.

Justice Samuel Oseji gave the directive on Friday while delivering a judgment in an appeal brought to the court by four inmates at the Benin Prisons for themselves and on behalf of other inmates across the country.

He held that the court agreed with seven other prayers by the applicants which were earlier granted in the matter by Justice Mohammed Liman of the Federal High Court in Benin City in December 2014.

Among the issues brought for determination by the applicants when the case first commenced in 2014 was whether the plaintiffs are not entitled to be registered as voters by the first defendant which is INEC.

They based their argument on the provisions of section 25 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, as amended in 2011, and section 12 sub-section 1 of the Electoral Act 2010.

Justice Oseji then ordered INEC to liaise with the Nigerian Prisons Service in order to update and include the names of inmates on the voters’ register.

He explained that this was necessary to ensure that the inmates can exercise their franchise in the coming general elections and subsequent ones, as enshrined in the Constitution.

Addressing reporters after the judgment, counsel to the applicants President Aigbokhan commended the ruling of the court.

He said Nigeria has become the second country in the continent, after South Africa to allow inmates vote during elections.

Four Teenage Inmates Regain Freedom In Lagos

Four Teenage Inmates Regain Freedom In Lagos
File photo

Chief Judge of Lagos State, Justice Opeyemi Oke, has freed four teenage inmates of the Badagry Prisons, as part of efforts to decongest prisons in the state.

The number of inmates that were expected to regain freedom was nine but five others were returned to face formal constitutional charges due to the gravity of their offences.

Justice Oke released the inmates who were awaiting trial during her visit to the prison facilities on Thursday.

The names of the freed inmates – who were boys between the ages of 17 and 19 years – include Sharafadeen Sheu, Israel Emmanuel, Samodu Rasak and Tunde Ojo.

In her speech, Oke asked the pardoned inmates to “go and sin no more”, adding that judges in the state hope they are meaningfully engaged so they would not be arrested for wandering and joblessness.

“I don’t know why having no work has turned to a criminal offence”, she said in a statement issued by the Assistant Director, Lagos State Ministry of Justice, Kayode Oyekanmi.

She added that the gesture was aimed at reducing congestion at the prisons and to release inmates who had been awaiting trial for many years.

The Chief Judge, however, said the five others were returned to prison to face the constitutional consequences of the offences committed and to further serve as a deterrent to others.

She said the judiciary would complement the efforts of the state government to ameliorate the plight of inmates in all the prisons.

Justice Oke also commended the state governor, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode, for inaugurating the new Magistrate’s Court in Badagry which she said would further aid quick dispensation of justice in the state.

Earlier in his address, the Deputy Controller, Badagry Prison, Mr Esan Patrick, commended the Chief Judge for the visit and for bringing hope to the hopeless by releasing those awaiting trials.

41 Inmates Undergo Free Surgical Operations In Plateau

Inmates, Prisons, WMAN, PlateauAt least 41 inmates have benefited from the outreach programme organised by the Medical Women Association of Nigeria (MWAN) in Plateau State.

The medical team, led by Dr. H.A. Agbo, was received by the Deputy Controller of Prison in-charge of Jos Prison, K. D. Mankale, at the Plateau State Prisons Command in Jos, the state’s capital.

A statement issued on Friday by the spokesman for the command, Mr Luka Ayedoo, revealed that the head of Jos Prison Clinic, Chief Superintendent of Prisons M.G. Musa, was also present to receive the team.

The medical outreach, which lasted for seven hours, saw the inmates undergo surgical operations on herniorrhaphy, lipoma, bullet and tooth extraction, as well as visual screening among others.

Commending the gesture, CSP Musa noted that the Plateau State chapter of the MWAN has been of immense help to the command over time, especially in the provision of medical services and free drugs.

He appealed to other well-meaning Nigerians and other organisations to emulate the mind-blowing gesture in order to support the inmates.

FCT Chief Judge Pardons 10 Inmates

FCT, Nsukka, Prison, Inmates, Two prisoners at the Kuje medium prison have been released unconditionally, while another eight will go home, should their fines be settled by well-meaning Nigerians.

This is according to the Chief Judge of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) High Court, Justice Usman Bello.

He also said that a panel has been set-up to fast-track cases awaiting trial between now and the first quarter of 2017.

Justice Bello said that the exercise is part of efforts by the judiciary to decongest the nation’s prisons which are being stretched beyond capacity.



Jail Break Not Unusual, Inmates Always Want Freedom, Expert Tells Prison Authority

A security expert, Olatunbosun Abolarinwa on Tuesday said the recent prison break which led to the release of 175 inmates from the Ondo medium security prison is a wake-up call to the Nigeria Prisons Service.

“It is a time for authority to wake up,” he said.

Speaking as a guest on Channels Television’s breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily, Mr Abolarinwa disapproved the durability and strength of the prison structure which he says does not need any expertise to break through. He described it as an ‘eye sore’.

Although guns and explosives were used in facilitating the prison break, Mr Abolarinwa disagreed with the Ondo State Comptroller of Prisons, Tunde Olayiwola, who had said the occurrence was an ‘unusual’ attack.

He explained that the psychology of all inmates in focused on how to be free from prison, hence jail  breaks will always happen. This he said, is why maximum security prisons require beefed up security.

He said the recent spate of prison breaks in the country calls for concern. However he asked people to exercise caution in linking the attacks to terrorist groups.

“There is need for proper investigations to be carried out in order for us to be able to establish the facts and figures in this before we jump to conclusions”.

He said that the prison authority needs to focus on proper archiving and profiling of inmates, which will facilitate recapture of escaped persons.

He however questioned whether the authorities are already doing this.

50 Prisoners Receive Catholic Confirmation Sacrament

The Catholic Bishop of Awka Diocese, Most Reverend Paulinus Ezeokafor on Thursday administered confirmation sacrament to 50 inmates in the Awka Prison during a pastoral visit.

The Bishop was accompanied by the Anambra state governor, Mr. Peter Obi and his wife.

While addressing the gathering at the prison, the bishop called on the federal government to accelerate the Nigerian prisons system reforms maintaining that the present state of inadequate facilities in Nigerian prisons was unacceptable.

He lamented that 90 percent of the inmates were still awaiting trial, he stressed the need for speedy dispensation of justice while protecting the fundamental human rights.

The bishop explained the reason for the visitation stating that it was to give the inmates a sense of belonging and encourage them towards reformation and proper integration into the society when they regain freedom.

He expressed his regret over the attitudes of some politicians towards the plight of Nigerian youths who form the bulk of inmates in prisons.

The state governor towed the line of the bishop in condemning the activities of some politicians in exploiting the condition of unemployed youths to expose them to crime and urged parents to see that their wards are productive and not thugs.

Mr. Obi enjoined the Awka prison management to engage the inmates in agricultural activities so as to be productive while assuring of his full support in the course.

The Senator representing Anambra South Senatorial Zone, Senator Andy Uba, represented by the director of his charity foundation made donations of materials to the inmates and decried the level of decay inside the prison.

The Catholic Diocese also added a bus donation to the prison authority to help ease transportation difficulty in conveying the inmates to court.