In a bid to decongest the Maximum Security Custodial Centre Port-Harcourt by the judiciary to mark her annual legal year 2022, 176 inmates with minor offences were released unconditionally during a jail delivery exercise.
The exercise started taking place on Nov.10 and Nov. 11 and will end on Tuesday, Nov. 22, 2022 with the Chief Judge of Rivers taking capital offences.
Deputy Superintendent of Corrections, Juliet Ofoni, who is the Spokesperson of the Rivers Command of the Nigerian Correctional Service (NCoS), said this in a statement on Tuesday.
The offences of the released inmates included stealing, burglary, bench warrant, contempt of court, among others.
The Chief Judge of Rivers, Simeon Amadi, who was represented by the Deputy Chief Registrar (Litigation), Friday Promon, appreciated the Controller of Corrections, Mr Felix Lawrence, and the Officer Incharge Maximum Security Custodial Centre, Deputy Controller of Corrections Efiong Okon Etim.
He commended them for the cleanliness of the environment befitting for transformation and rehabilitation, stating that he was marveled at the high level of discipline and comportment by the inmates in spite the large population in the centre.
He urged the freed inmates to be good citizens and desist from acts capable of attracting the long arm of the law catching up with them again.
He also encouraged other inmates in the centre not to be discouraged as the exercise would be a continuous one.
In his response, the Controller of Corrections, represented by the officer incharge of the centre, DCC EO Etim, thanked the government and the judiciary for living up to its responsibility by decongesting custodial centers.
He advised the freed inmates to exhibit the good behaviour and skill acquired while in the center to better their lives.
He further provided logistics to enable them get to their various destinations in line with the service mission and vision.
In their response, an inmate who spoke on behalf of the freed persons, thanked God for their freedom, the state government and the judiciary.
He said their joy would not be complete without a special appreciation to the correctional authority particularly the officer incharge who created the right environment/opportunity for them to be better.
According to him, their being in prison is by God for them to be better persons.