COVID-19: ‘We have released 3,751 inmates so far’

Controller General, Nigerian Correctional Service, NCoS, Ja’afaru Ahmed
Controller General, Nigerian Correctional Service, NCoS, Ja’afaru Ahmed

The Nigerian Correctional Service (NCoS) says it has, as at Thursday 21, released 3,751 inmates, comprising convicts and awaiting trial persons who met the criteria for their release.

President Muhammadu Buhari had ordered the decongestion of correctional centres in the country to sustain the fight against the spread of COVID-19.

Consequently, Rauf Aregbesola, Minister of Interior, on 9th April during the flag-off of the Presidential amnesty at Medium Security Custodial Centre Kuje-Abuja, announced that a total of 2,600 will benefit from the release by 36 states and Federal Capital Territory.

However, some states Chief Judges, during the jail delivery processes, granted bail/release to some awaiting trial persons leading to the release of 3,751 inmates so far.

In a statement by the spokesman of NCoS, Chucks Njoku, the service said that the process of releasing inmates was still ongoing.

He said other measures were in place to ensure continuity, assuring that the final figures will be made public at the end of the exercise.

“A breakdown of the release shows that 2,740 convicts and 1,011 Awaiting Trial Inmates have so far benefited from the exercise.

“The Controller General of Correction Centres, Ja’afaru Ahmed wishes to use this medium to express his profound gratitude to all the State Governors, Chief Judges and other stakeholders in the Criminal Justice System who have work tirelessly to carry out this exercise and encourage its continuity.

“The Service is assuring that all inmates qualified for the amnesty and jail delivery will be released accordingly,” the statement added.