No fewer than 74 inmates were recently freed from the Benin and Oko prisons as the presidential Committee on Prisons Reform and Decongestion visited Benin City, Edo State.
The inmates, who had been sentenced over crimes ranging from breach of peace, malicious damage, unlawful assault, fraud, conspiracy, breaking and stealing, were excited at the prospect of reuniting with their families.
Releasing them, the Head of the Presidential Committee on prisons Reform and Decongestion, and Chief Judge of FCT, Abuja, Chief Justice Ishaqu Bello, admonished the freed inmates to desist from acts that could get them back to prisons in future, maintaining that crimes do not pay.
The inmates who had learnt some trades while in custody were given some amount of money toenable them to set up their businesses and have means of livelihood, so as to shun crimes.
On her part, the Hon. Chief Judge, Edo State Judiciary, Hon. Justice Esohe Ikponmwen, charged the freed inmates to eschew life of crimes in the future as their loved ones suffered the most from their conviction.
Earlier, while on a courtesy call on the Governor of the State, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, Hon. Justice Bello informed the Governor that Edo State was the 14th State the Committee had visited while fulfilling their mandate of reforming and decongesting Prisons across the nation.
Present at the decongestion exercise were the Chief Judge of Edo State Judiciary, Honourable Justice Esohe Ikponmwen, the Attorney General of Edo State, Professor Yinka Omorogbe, Deputy Comptroller of Prisons, Edo State Command, Joseph Usendiah.
Nwine Nekpen Maureen
Information Officer, Edo State Judiciary