The Federal Government has freed 178 inmates from various custodial centres in Jigawa through the Ministry of Interior.
The spokesman for the Nigeria Correctional Service in Jigawa, Mr Muhammad Sani, made this known in a statement he issued in Dutse on Thursday.
He stated that the NCoS Controller in Jigawa, Mr Muazu Garba-Charanchi, freed the inmates on behalf of the Minister of Interior, Dr Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo.
“In its efforts to decongest custodial centres nationwide, the Federal Ministry of Interior, in partnership with philanthropists, groups, and corporate bodies, secured the release of 178 inmates in Jigawa.
“Kicking off the exercise at the Medium Security Custodial Centre in Hadejia, Garba-Charanchi, appreciated the effort of the minister.
“He also commended donors and the Controller-General of Corrections, Mr Haliru Nababa, for the laudable and kind gesture,’’ Sani stated.
He added that Garba-Charanchi had been lamenting that congestion in custodial centres in Jigawa had deterred efforts of the NCoS in reformation and rehabilitation programmes.
He stated also that Garba-Charanchi charged the released inmates to be of good behaviour and be good ambassadors of peace and security.
Garba-Charanchi advised the remaining inmates to be calm and peaceful to facilitate their reformation and to gain the government’s sympathy, Sani added.
He stated that 60 inmates were released from the Medium Security Custodial Centre in Hadejia and 23 from the Medium Security Custodial Centre in Gumel.
Twenty-two inmates were released from Birnin-Kudu Farm Centre; 16 from the Satellite Custodial Centre in Babura; and 13 from the Medium Security Custodial Centre in Dutse.
Eight inmates were released from the Medium Security Custodial Centre in Kazaure; eight from the Satellite Custodial Facility in Ringim; seven from the Satellite Custodial Facility in Jahun; and six from the Satellite Custodial Facility in Kiyawa.
Six inmates were released from the Satellite Composite Custodial Centre in Birnin-Kudu, five from the Satellite Custodial Facility in Gwaram, and four from the Satellite Custodial Facility in Garki, Sani stated.
A freed inmate who reacted on behalf of beneficiaries, Mr Umar Sanda, thanked the Federal Government and the NCoS for finding them worthy to be released on fines paid in spite of the crimes they committed.
He also expressed appreciation that the government and its partners gave the freed inmates some stipends.
Sanda assured that released inmates would put skills acquired at the centres to practice to become self-reliant and to shun crime.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that stipends were paid to the freed inmates to assist them in returning to their respective homes.