Akwa Ibom State Governor, Udom Emmanuel, has granted amnesty to a 64-year-old inmate of Medium Security Prisons, Ikot Ekpene, Mr. Okon Sunday Akpan, of Etinan Local Government Area, having spent 25 years, 28 days in the prison.
Governor Emmanuel, in company of the State Chief Judge, Justice Stephen Okon, and members of his cabinet, pardoned the prisoner under the Prerogative of Mercy Act, and charged the beneficiary to ‘go and sin no more.’
He also harped on the need for proper upbringing of children by parents through sound moral guidance to enable them become useful citizens in the society.
The Governor who was on a working visit to the Ikot Ekpene Prisons, frowned at the slow dispensation of justice by the judiciary officials, and emphasized the need for speedy dispensation of justice to save the prisons from congestion, particularly those being incarcerated as awaiting trail inmates.
He said that the programmes of his administration were designed to engage youths meaningfully in vocational skills as a way of reducing criminality.
He declared that Akwa Ibom people were known for discipline and hard work and used the occasion to advise youths to shun the temptation of going into criminality.
In an emotion-laden tone, Governor Emmanuel advised the prison inmates to show genuine repentance, stating that remorsefulness is not repentance.
He assured them that those whom the prison officials have found to have repented from their initial behaviour would be granted pardon.
He advised Sunday Akpan to turn a new leaf and let go his nick-name ‘Ikenga’, explaining that the name might have pushed him to his predicament.
The Governor directed the Health Commissioner, Dr. Dominic Ukpong, to facilitate medical access to two pregnant inmates and announced the donation of 100 bags of rice and three cows to all the inmates.
Earlier, the Comptroller of Prisons, Akwa Ibom State Command, Dr. Regina Akpan, expressed appreciation to the Governor on his benevolent disposition towards people in the prison custody and described the Ikot Ekpene Prisons as the best in Africa.
She said that the correctional facility accommodates 583 inmates of which 545 are males, while 38 are females