COVID-19: CJ frees 62 inmates in Rivers

From Blessing Ibunge, Port Harcourt

In an effort to decongest the prisons so as to reduce spread of coronavirus, the Chief Judge of Rivers State Justice Adama Iyayi-Lamikanra has freed 62 inmates from three prisons in the State.

The inmates granted freedom include, 46 convicted inmates and 16 awaiting trials persons from Port Harcourt correctional centre, Degema, and Ahoada prisons. The inmates are 61 male and a female.

During the gaol delivery, Justice Lamikanra advised the discharged inmates to be law-abiding and embark on meaningful business to earn a living.

She said that the action was based on the directive of the federal government that inmates serving sentence for minor offences should be granted pardon.

She said: “As you go from here today, don’t go back to committing crime because next time you might not be that lucky. Many of you are young people from age 21 – 27 years old. So you are young and you can work, so you should go and look for a good way to earn a living.

“You have benefited from this freedom, by the grace of God and by the directive given by the federal government that we should release inmates who are serving sentences for minor offences.”

Speaking also, the Comptroller of Correction centre Rivers State Command, Mr Olumide Tinuoye, said the aim of the gaol delivery is to decongest the prisons in Rivers State.

“I am very happy they have been released because alot of them may be thinking they may not get out of the prison alive but today they have found out they have gotten their freedom which is one thing.

“Secondary, for this social distances, the prison is congested and we have made our moves so that some of the inmates can be released. And today, that the Chief Judge has carried that function we are indeed happy.

“We want to thank the state government too, because about a month ago two inmates serving imprisonment were granted full pardoned and released at least five federal offenders also from custody”.

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