By Patrick Ahanor
Wife of the Iyase (Prime Minister) of Benin Kingdom, Mrs. Vero Igbe, has paid the fines of 20 inmates at the Benin and Oko prisons in Edo state.
The fine ranges from N50,000 to N100,000.
Among those who benefited for the largesse include a nursing mother and 35-year-old father of three.
The nursing mother, identified as Ngozi Owoh, was said to be pregnant when she was convicted in April 2017.
Owoh reportedly delivered a baby boy while serving her jail term in August.
The nursing mother said she was convicted for assaulting a neighbour, who fell into coma.
On his part, the father of three who identified herself as Iyobo Paul, 35, said he was convicted for assaulting a traffic policewoman, adding that his wife was pregnant at the time.
The inmates were convicted for offences bordering on theft, assault, breaking and entering.
Mrs. Igbe said the gesture was her birthday gift to the inmates with option of fines.
“I don’t like celebrating birthday. I usually go to orphanage and those in needs. This year, I have to visit prison instead of calling big parties and I am fulfilled with what I have done,” she said.
Earlier, Edo state Controller of Prisons, Mr. Amadi Osayande, described the gesture as unprecedented “since the history of Benin Prisons.”
According to him, the move has also helped to decongest the prison.
He said the freed inmates had been “trained and can now live a normal life.”