Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Akwa Ibom state, Barr Uwemedimo Nwoko, signing document on behalf of the governor to free the inmates granted amnesty.

Abasifreke Effiong – Uyo

The Akwa Ibom state government has granted amnesty to 68 inmates from four correctional centres in the state.

The freedom granted the inmates in exercise of the prerogative of mercy, powers conferred on Governors by the constitution, was to decongest prisons to contain the outbreak of Coronavirus.

Rivers and Delta state government had freed about 200 inmates as part of response to COVID-19 outbreak, earlier this month.

Some of the 68 inmates in Akwa Ibom state who were granted mercy were awaiting trials for minor misdemeanors. Others were released on health grounds and those who have served a greater part of their term.

68 inmates granted amnesty in Akwa Ibom state Some of the freed prison inmates in Akwa Ibom state.

Twenty -two (22) of the freed inmates were held in Uyo correctional centre, 17 were in Ikot Ekpene, 12 in Ikot Abasi, and 17 were in Eket correctional center.

Governor Udom Emmanuel said his administration is committed to ensuring the decongestion of prisons in the state as part of an ongoing national prison reforms in Nigerian.

As part of prison reforms in Nigeria, President Buhari recently changed the name of the nation’s custodial agency from Nigerian Prisons Services to National Correctional Service.

Governor Emmanuel, represented by the state’s Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Barr. Uwemedimoh Nwoko, said the state’s welfare department will help to integrate the freed inmates into the society and support them to pick up their lives.

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The controller of Akwa Ibom state Correctional Centres, Mr Alex Oditah who advised the freed inmates to be deliberate about making impact in their society as an evidence that their years at the correctional centres were not wasted.

About 41,524 inmates are being held in correctional centres across the country. And, 29,372 of these inmates are on awaiting trial, according to the presidential committee on prisons decongestion.