The Ebonyi Governor’s wife, Mrs Marymaudline Nwifuru, has facilitated the release of 53 inmates from Abakaliki Correction Service.
Mrs Nwifuru on Wednesday, said that the intervention was prompted by her visit to the center last October where she discovered that some persons were convicted with option of fine but could not go home over their inability to perfect the bail condition.
She said that the freed inmates would be included in her empowerment programmes to enable them abstain from all forms of criminalities.
This, governor’s wife said, would be done through her project, Better Health for Rural Women, Children and Internally Displaced Persons Foundation, (BERWO).
“I am delighted to be here to witness the act of God upon your lives and to felicitate with you in the spirit of Christmas.
“Today’s event is in line with the peoples charter of needs and my modest project, BERWO which provides succor and assured hope,” she said.
According to her, there was another category of inmates who were granted bail with conditions but the people could not perfect their bail condition and having noticed the situation as the mother of the state.
“I intimated with her husband, the Governor, over plights of people and out of magnanimity, the governor supported by undertaking to pay the court fines and the perfection of the conditions of the bail to secure their freedom,” she explained.
Mrs Nwifuru appealed to the freed persons to live in accordance with the law of the land in order not to be a burden to the society.
She urged the good spirited individuals to assist the freed persons in their various areas mostly as they have learnt their lessons and ready to turn a new leaf.
In his remarks, the Attorney- General and Commissioner for Justice in the state, Mr Bernard Odo, said that the decongestion of the center required a drastic measure.
Odo noted that the capacity of Abakaliki center is 387 inmates but regrettably, the place was housing 1,466 inmates.
He said, “The comptroller has written to me that there is no more chance to accommodate others and on that note, his men would not accept other persons.
“In the cause of my assessment into one of the cells, I discovered that one cell contains 126 persons with one toilet,” Odo said.
He commended the governor’s wife for the gesture and described freedom of liberty as the greatest of the fundamental human rights.
The attorney general encouraged the freed persons to utilise the opportunity optimally by avoiding crime.
He frowned at the dilapidating criminal justice system in the country and called for remedy over the deteriorating situation.
The Assistant Comptroller of Correction, Mr. Benedict Oyoko in charge of Medium Security Center, Abakaliki, Ebonyi Command, applauded Mrs Nwifuru and appealed for continuous support.
Oyoko added that the exercise had saved the beneficiaries from the over-crowded nature of the center and possible outbreak of disease.
Mr. Peter Nwofoke, One of the beneficiaries, while narrating his ordeal, described his release as divine intervention and appreciated the governor’s wife for the assistance.(NAN)