COVID-19: Ekiti moves to release ‘low risk’ prisoners 

Ekiti State government has begun the move to decongest the Ado-Ekiti correctional centre, as part of the measures adopted to curtail the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.

This was disclosed by the state’s Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Olawale Fapohunda today in Ado-Ekiti. According to him, “The governor, Dr Kayode Fayemi has directed that the Ministry of Justice immediately convene a meeting of the Advisory Council on Prerogative of Mercy, with a view to identifying prisoners who may benefit from immediate release from the Ado Ekiti Correctional Center.

“Mr governor is concerned about the possible impact of COVID-19 in Ado Ekiti  correctional centre.  He has therefore directed that additional measures be taken to decongest the facility.”

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Fapohunda said that persons in detention are particularly vulnerable to the COVID-19 outbreak. That these measures will not only help protect the prisoners, but also the staff of the correctional centre, lawyers and others who provide support to the facility.

“The Ministry of Justice will compile a list of identified prisoners for the consideration of the meeting of the  Advisory Council of the prerogative of Mercy slated for Wednesday, 15 April 2020.  We will focus on prisoners on pre-trial detention for minor or low-risk offences,” he said.

The Attorney General further stated that in order to ensure that no deserving prisoner is left behind, the Ministry of Justice will seek the collaboration of the three branches of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) in the State, the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), Legal Aid Council as well as Civil Society organisations working on prisoners rights.

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