Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai has approved the sum of N24m for renovation of the Zaria prisons following prisoners’ revolt that led to the destruction of some parts of the prisons about three months ago. This was disclosed by the Comptroller of Prisons, Kaduna State Command of the Nigerian Prisons Service, Abubakar Garba.
CP Garba while disclosing this, said work on the renovation of the Zaria prisons had already reached 95 percent completion.
Garba further said that the Governor in conjunction with the Ministry of Justice had also approved the setting up of schools inside the prisons, both Junior and Secondary schools as well as skill acquisition centres.
According to him, “As you are aware, we had an ugly incident in Zaria prison and the Executive Governor approved the sum of N24million for the renovation of the Zaria prisons. The Zaria prisons project is now 95 per cent completed.
“Equally, the Governor in conjunction with the Ministry of Justice has given approvals for the setting up of Secondary schools inside the prisons which comprises Junior and Secondary school.
“And equally, he also gave his mandate on the issue of skill acquisition centres in the various prisons formations across Kaduna state. We will start a pilot scheme very soon with Kaduna prisons. We hope that by next year the pilot scheme will reach other prisons formation across Kaduna state,” he said.
On the inmates that got Governor El-Rufai’s pardon, CP Garba said, “El-Rufai after been advised by the advisory committee, decided to ensure the release of 14 prisoners from Kaduna prison. 5 of the 14 prisoners had earlier been condemned to death. 3 out of the 5 were sentenced to 15 years imprisonment while 2 were committed to 10 years imprisonment.
“The Governor exercises his powers under section 212, sub-section (1c) as amended with the Nigerian constitution to release the prisoners,” he said.
He continued, “In Kaduna prison, we have 11 Kaduna State indigenes that were sentenced to death. 5 that were released don’t have any appeal before the appeal court. The remaining 4 have appealled before the appeal court. The 2 that were not mentioned earlier, their sentence have been reduced to 20 years imprisonment.
“And the remaining nine that were released were people that have stayed in the prisons for long and have only 6 months to serve. And some because of old age were also released by the Executive Governor of Kaduna State,” CP Garba stated.
One of the condemned inmates who secured waver from death sentence to 15 years imprisonment for committing armed robbery, Oyewole Ajibola, expressed mix feelings over the development.
Ajibola, 45 years old and a student said he was happy with the reduction of his punishment from death sentence to 15 years imprisonment and also not happy as he begged for more mercy.
In his words: “I was not involved but there were circumstances behind it. I was returning back to school and I entered the car, but I didn’t know that the car was stolen. Then along the line …crying… then I was arraigned and that was all.
“Initially, I was sentenced to death, but now I have been convicted to 15 years imprisonment. The death sentence has been removed.
“I have been here for 5 years and life here is miserable. My freedom has been limited. I am appealing to the Governor to please have mercy on us and still help us in reducing it so that we can go out there to impact positively on the society,” Ajibola appealed.
Source: Daily Post
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