The Wife of Ebonyi State Governor, Mrs. Mary-Maudline Nwifuru on Wednesday, freed fifty-three (53) inmates of Abakaliki Correctional centre who were unable to perfect their bail conditions after being granted bail.
This is in line with her foundation pet project ‘ Better Health for Rural Women, Children and Internally Displaced Persons (BERWO) during the event cleared all the fines of the inmates.
The inmates which include two women also received cash gifts to sustain them as they were reunited with their people.
She then charged the inmates to turn a new life and shun anything that would bring them back to the prison.
“On October 13, 2023, I visited this Correction Centre. In the course of my intervention with the authorities of the Correctional Centre and the inmates, my attention was drawn to the fact they were some of the inmates who were already convicted but given the option to pay fine and be released from custody. Unfortunately, those inmates could not pay the said fines and were consequently held in custody.
“My attention was also drawn to another category of inmates. These were inmates granted bail with conditions but are yet to and unable to perfect their bail conditions.
“Moved by the condition of these inmates and the sense of duty as the mother of this state and worsened by overcrowding of this centre, I brought it to the knowledge of my husband the father of the state for his esteemed intervention, he didn’t hesitate one date I n giving his fatherly support by undertaking to pay the court fines and requirement of the perfection of the bail and condition to secure the release of the inmates from the custodial centre”, she stated
In his part, the state Attorney-general and Commissioner for Justice, Ben Odoh, described the release of the inmates by Mrs. Nwifuru as timely.
According to him, the Correction Centre is currently carrying more than its capacity and charged everyone to put all hands on deck to change the dilapidated state of the criminal justice system in the State.
“Our situation in the criminal justice system is in a dilapidated state and is gasping for help. Mummy has had an action that is challenging all of us to make sure that we put all our hands on deck to see how we can remedy the worsening state of our criminal justice system in Ebonyi and by extension Nigeria”, he stated.
In appreciation, Mr Abel Nkwuda thanked the Governor’s wife for the gesture. According to him, their release in this Christmas season has given hope to them to start a new life.
He then pleaded to the First Lady to also assist for the release of other inmates who have a similar case with them but have no helper.