The Federal Government is set to alleviate congestion in Nigerian Custodial Centres by releasing more than four thousand inmates.
Dr. Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo, the Minister of Interior, announced the initiative during an event at the Medium Security Custodial Centre in Kuje, Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.
The release, according to the Minister, is aimed at individuals who have completed their sentences but still have fines or compensation to settle, with amounts not exceeding one million naira.
Addressing the issue of overcrowding, the minister highlighted that the custodial facilities, designed for a capacity of no fewer than fifty thousand, currently house around eighty thousand, eight hundred and four inmates.
He stated, “This release, targeting inmates with fines and/or compensations not exceeding N1m, extends a lifeline primarily to indigents unable to settle their dues, allowing them a second chance at freedom.
“Philanthropic individuals, groups, and corporate bodies rallied together, raising a total of N580m for this noble cause. Moreover, it’s not just about freeing these individuals but empowering them for a successful reintegration into society.
“The inmates received comprehensive training covering practical skills, civic duties, and strategies to prevent recidivism, ensuring a more promising future upon their return to their communities.”
Tunji-Ojo emphasized that the release specifically targets inmates with financial obligations below one million naira, extending a lifeline to indigent individuals who, otherwise, would be unable to settle their dues. This initiative offers a second chance at freedom for those in need.