Stories by Stanley Onyekwere
In the spirit of the Yuletide season, the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Malam Muhammad Musa Bello yesterday facilitated the release of one hundred and fourteen (114) inmates in three prisons, after payment of their fines over one million naira.
Precisely, the beneficiaries are 47 and 16 inmates serving in New and Old Keffi prisons; while 40 inmates are of Durban Farm Centre respectively.
Also, eleven (11) inmates were released from Suleja prisons, after payment of fines ranging from fifty to fifteen thousand naira respectively.
Explaining the rationale behind the payment of fines for the inmates, the FCT Minister, noted that it was in line with the ongoing efforts to decongest the prisons.
Bello, who was represented by the FCT Permanent Secretary, Christian Ohaa, said the guesture was aimed at helping some inmates who cannot pay fines for various minor offences, to regain their freedom.
He reiterated that the FCT Administration remains committed to improving the justice system in the Territory.
According to him, the Administration had provided land for Nigerian Prisons authorities to build news Prisons facility in FCT.
He expressed gratitude to the FCT Chief Judge, for his show of mercy to those who cannot help themselves.
On his part, the Chief Judge of the FCT, Justice Ishaq Bello, commended the FCT Minister for the kind intervention, as it is a reflection of his love for the less privileged in the society.
He recalled that the current FCT Administration has been supporting the judiciary to improve the administration of justice in the Territory.
The FCT Chief Judge however advised the frees inmates to be of good conduct, in order to avoid making the Prison facility their home.
Meanwhile, in a related development, the FCT Chief Judge announced the release of additional twelve inmates from Kuje prisons, facilitated by the Minister of of Justice, Abubakar Malami and a Non Governmental Organization (NGO).