From Steve Oko, Umuahia
As part of measures aimed at decongesting the correctional centres to prevent the spread of covid-19 to inmates, the Abia State Government, Monday, freed 32 inmates from correctional centres in the state.
The State Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Uche Ihediwa, who disclosed this at a press briefing in Umuahia, said the action was part of Federal Government’s decision to decongest correctional centres.
The Commissioner who was flanked by the State Conttroller of Nigeria Correctional Services, Mr Julius Ezeugwu; and his Deputy, Dr Chinyere Ndubuisi Ehighibe, at the briefing said the state complied with the directive of the federal government in compiling the list of the beneficiaries.
Present at the briefing also were the Secretary of the Committee on Prerogative of Mercy , Mr Isaac Nwachukwu; Mrs Uzoamaka Ikonne, the State Solicitor General and Mrs Ijeoma Egesi, Director of Administration in the Ministry of Justice.
Ihediwa who also is the State Chairman of Committee of Perogative of Mercy, disclosed that his committee upon the receipt of the List which the Attorney General of the Federation sent to the State Governor for his consideration and approval swing into action.
” My Office convoked a meeting of the Committee of Progetive of Mercy which handles requests like that, the Committee deliberated on the list and approved the release of Inmates in Three Correctional Facilities.
He further disclosed that upon the approval of the would be released inmates, his committee wrote a letter to the Governor praying him to excersise his power in Perogative as enshrined in the Constitution.
According to the Chairman of the Committee, the governor has graciously granted the release of Ten Inmates from Aba, Fourteen Inmates in Umuahia and Eight Inmates at Arochukwu all in the Three Correctional Facilities within the State.
Ihediwa said that those granted Pardon were those whose Jail term sentences we’re within a period to serve out, “With this COVID 19, it was only fit and proper that such persons be allowed to go home. The outstanding duration of their prison terms from 6months-4years.
Responding, the State Controller of Correctional Services, Mr Ezeugwu thanked Governor Ikpeazu for his quick response to effect the release of the inmates while assuring that all necessary measures would be followed up to ensure that the pardoned inmates would be released immediately.