The Presidential Committee on Correctional Reform and Decongestion has set free a total of 11 inmates (both males and females) from the Maximum Security Correctional Centre in Ilorin Kwara state.
The committee which was led by its Chairman and former Chief Judge of the FCT High Court, Justice I.U Bello, had in furtherance of its mandate, Tuesday, commenced the exercise which was scheduled for the 19th to the 21st October 2021 in Ilorin, the state capital.
Other members of the committee on the visitation team were the the Secretary, Mrs. Leticia Ayoola-Daniels; ACG Daniel Idharo (representative of the NCS); CP Shehu Usman Gwarzo (representative of the NPF); Mr. Tunde Ikusagba (representative of the LACON); Mrs Chika Vivian Nnamani-Kuku (representative of the DPPF); Mr. Felix Ota_Okojie (FJSRC).
Speaking during the exercise, Justice Bello assured that the committee will continue to carefully consider the documents before it and take appropriate actions where necessary.
Apart from carrying out situational assessment of the condition of inmates and the environment they are in, the committee according to the Chairman is also saddled with assessing and freeing inmates who meet the set down criteria and will also pay fines for inmates who have the option of fine where appropriate,
Others to be considered according to him are aged inmates, those with terminal illnesses, and inmates who have over-stayed in relation to the offences being tried for.
Speaking during the exercise, the Chief Judge of Kwara state, Hon. Justice Suleiman Durosinlonhun Kawu, reiterated the Kwara state Judiciary happiness in having the committee in the state, expressing hope that it would deliver on its mandate.
While the exercise lasted, the committee did not only pay for their fines, they equally paid for their transportations back to their destinations and in addition, presentated a carefully selected motivational and inspirational books donated by the Federal Ministry of Justice, to the Correctional Centre.
In a brief remark, the Controller Kwara State Command, Nigeria Correctional Service (NCS), CC Baba Usman Aliyu, warmly lauded the Committee, stating that he was optimistic that its mission would be successful.
At the end of the exercise, some of the inmates that breathed air of freedom included; Dr. Sa’adu Ayinla, a 61-year old who was charged with the offence of corrupt practices and related offences and was handed seven years imprisonment.
Ayinla equally got his N25,000,000 fine paid by the Committee having already had an application before the Presidential Advisory Committee on Prerogative of Mercy.
Others are Babatunde Balogun – 61 years old, charged with abduction and culpable homicide and sentenced to five years imprisonment.
Toyin Michael, a 70-year old, charged with criminal trespass and theft and was sentenced to five years imprisonment.
Sefiu Abubakar who was charged for culpable homicide not punishable with death and was sentenced to 10 years imprisonment on 22/5/2015 was also released.
Chinedu Okocha, who was charged for culpable homicide not punishable with death and was sentenced to five years imprisonment on 24/9/2018 was released, Umar Ibrahim who was charged for house breaking and theft and was sentenced to one year imprisonment and fined N7,000.
Olatunji Raphael was charged for belonging to a gang of thieves and sentenced to five months imprisonment and was fined N20,000.
Although, the committee also looked into one Waheed Sanni, a 60-year old man’s case charged for being in possession of a human head and was sentenced to five years imprisonment.
He could not however, benefit from the prerogative of mercy extended by the commitee as he was not released.
Some female inmates who also benefitted are Sherifat Lawal Titilayo Ikundiarasi, Iyabo Samiu, Miiracle Daniel, and a 16-year old Agboola Mary.
The Chief Judge of Kwara state committee who were part of the exercise are Mr. Musa Idris, the Solicitor-General who represented the Hon. Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Kwara State; CC Baba Usman Aliyu, Controller Kwara State Command, NCS; Alhaji Yahaya Mohameed, Director, SGF Office, Kwara State; and ACC Abiola Banjo Epharim, Officer in Charge of the MSCC Ilorin.