Kano State Governor, Dr. Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, Monday freed 500 prison inmates, who could not afford to pay various fines or compensation charged on them from 10 prison facilities in the state. Each of the freed prisoners, with minor offences, were also given a sum of N3,000 as transportation fare to their various places of domicile.
Addressing the freed inmates in Kano Central Prison, Kurmawa, the governor explained that the gesture was in the spirit of the holy month of Ramadan, which is an exercise in self-restraint, intended to bring Muslims closer to Almighty Allah. “Congestion in prisons is one of our major challenges in Nigeria. This often leads to outbreak of communicable disease, while some inmates with minor crimes become hardened criminals as a result of interaction with superior criminals,” he said.
He further explained that the decision by the government to pay the fines and compensations, to free the inmates with minor crimes and who cannot pay as charged by courts, is part of effort to decongest the prisons, whose facilities are mostly obsolete and overstretched.
The governor promised that the freed inmates would undergo entrepreneurship training and be given grants to start economic ventures, so that they can fully be integrated into the mainstream of the society. While urging the freed persons to repent and change their ways for a better future, Ganduje also asked them to pay more attention to moral uprightness for the good of their families and humanity in general.