No fewer than 30 inmates have been released from the Ado-Ekiti Correctional Center as part of measures to decongest prisons to stop the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Ekiti State Governor, Dr Kayode Fayemi, gave the directive in line with the federal government’s prison decongestion policy.
The state Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Wale Fapohunda in a statement on Wednesday in Ado-Ekiti, the state capital said the decision of the governor followed the recommendation of the State Advisory Council on Prerogative of Mercy.
Fapohunda explained that applications for clemency on 45 inmates were received by the council but added that the 30 inmates considered fell within the category of inmates stated in the public notice earlier published by the Ministry of Justice.
He said category of inmates considered includes, ” Persons held in pre-trial detention, particularly those for minor or low-risk offences. Women with children on pretrial detention or convicted for non-serious offences with less than 18 months to serve their sentences.
” At-risk inmates such as elderly prisoners or those with underlying life-threatening health issues. Inmates convicted for minor, low risk of offences particularly those who have 18 months or less remaining of their sentence to serve.”
Fapohunda noted that all the released individuals went through a rigorous process of screening, adding, ” Council, in particular, obtained a detailed briefing from officials of the Correctional Center on the conduct of each of the beneficiaries. In addition, the Council also insisted that each of the beneficiaries provide references from next-of-kin or family members including information on the physical address of the inmates after release.”
He said it would be a continuous exercise, ” until the population is reduced to a manageable number.”
The Attorney-General revealed that Governor Fayemi has also directed that the released individuals should immediately be listed as vulnerable persons on the database of beneficiaries of the Ekiti State COVID-19 palliative programme.
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