AHEAD of this year’s Salah celebration, 40 inmates of the Nigerian Prisons Service (NPS), Suleja, Niger State on Monday regained their freedom courtesy the National Commandant, Peace Corps of Nigeria, Ambassador Dickson Akoh
The inmates who were between ages 18 and 30 were released to Ambassador Akoh by the Comptroller of the Prisons, Mr Ibrahim Usman after their various fines were duly paid by the Corps as part of the activities marking its 18th Anniversary/ Founder’s Day celebration
After perfecting the immediate release of the inmates of about 38 males and two females, Akoh distributed various sums of cash to them as their transport fares to their various destinations
This came just as Ambassador Akoh who was in company of some of the top officers of the Corps to the prison donated a live cow and other foodstuffs to other inmates of the prison for its management to prepare special meal for them for the Salah celebration
Akor told the prison officials that the Corps was not only interested in setting them free but would document them for proper reformation since one of the aims and objectives of the organisation was youth development
He called on the Federal Government to see to the review of administration of criminal justice in Nigeria, saying, “it is very wrong in a society where somebody who steals a material worth less than N10,000 will be sentenced to several years in prison while another who steals billions of naira will just be fined or set fee on technical grounds.”
Akoh, while assuring that the corps would do everything humanly possible to reform the freed inmates warned them to be of good behaviours by no going back to the activities that brought them jail in the first instance.
He said that the Corps decided to donate the live cow and the foodstuffs to the inmates so as to celebrate the Salah in good mood and to also make them have sense of belonging as Nigerians.
In his short remarks, the prison boss, Mr Usman lauded the kind gesture of the Corps and pleaded with individuals and corporate organisations to emulate the Peace Corps of Nigeria.
However, some of the freed inmates including a female said that they were not criminal but picked up while at night clubs and subsequently fined and brought to the prisons when they could not afford the fines imposed on them.
They also commended the gesture of the Corps leadership and promised of good behaviour in future.