THE Plateau State Government, on Thursday, urged the state’s Correctional Service to accelerate processes and procedures for the release of innocent inmates.
Mr Ephraim Usman, the Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, made the appeal when a team from the state’s office of the Nigerian Correctional Service (NCS) visited him in Jos.
While commending the NCS over its efforts at rehabilitating inmates, Usman however, noted that some of the prisoners, who were mostly innocents, were being held without trial.
The commissioner, therefore urged the service to look into initiating processes and procedures of granting freedom to such innocent persons.
“When I visited the prison sometimes ago, I discovered that some of them are actually innocent, they are just victims of circumstances, and some have been there for many years without trial.
“I hope and pray that as we introduce school to them, you also at your end should profile all these people and make suggestions to the government so that they can be released to go and have a life outside the prison.
“Please do that, because posterity will hold us responsible If we do not take deliberate steps to get some innocent people out of that place.
“I have had some of my seniors from secondary school held in prison many years ago because of a family issue, two brothers that were first condemned to die by hanging.
“But due to the pardon they received they changed, I see changes in them. So I hope and pray that those innocent people in that prison get pardoned.
“So please, lobby the government to release those people, because some have stayed there unnecessarily long,” Usman said.
On partnership and support in educating inmates, the commissioner assured the NCS of the ministry’s support, adding that in spite of the obvious challenges, the government would ensure that the inmates were reformed to live a better life.
Earlier, Mr Nandak Ponyak, Deputy Controller of NCS, while highlighting some of the service’s challenges in ensuring the transformation of inmates, sought the collaboration of the ministry in educating and reforming the inmates.
“When I assumed office here, one of the major issues that I was confronted with was the issue of educating the inmates. I inquired from my predecessors and I was informed of the ministry’s unwavering support in the past, and so I deemed it fit to come here on this courtesy visit.
“We have some windows of assistance that we want to humbly request that you come to our aid for, particularly now that NECO is registering students, we have a school in the facility. I have students that are there with us.
“It is not just enough to teach them and there is no certificate to show for it.
“That is why we decided to reach out to government organisations and other spirited individuals to come to our aid, that is why we are here” Ponyak said. (NAN)
November 2, 2023 @ 15:28 GMT|