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COVID-19: Ebonyi releases 33 prisoners

COVID-19: Ebonyi releases 33 prisoners
April 17
15:01 2020
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David Umahi, governor of Ebonyi, has granted freedom to 33 prisoners serving various jail terms in the state.

The inmates are from Abakaliki and Afikpo correctional centres.

Cletus Ofoke, commissioner for justice and attorney-general of the state, said this while addressing journalists on Friday.

The federal government had announced that it would release 2,600 inmates in various prisons to curb the spread of coronavirus.

Ofoke said the release of the inmates is based on the federal government’s decision to decongest the correctional centres in a bid to contain the spread of COVID-19.

He said those released are men and women with cases ranging from stealing, burglary, assault to bodily harm, while inmates on death row at the different correctional centres in the state were not considered for release.

The commissioner said the decongestion will improve social distancing measures, thereby reducing the spread of the virus at the correctional centres.

“The Governor in his averred determination to decongest the Correctional Centre in Ebonyi State, and guided by the recommendations of the state advisory council on prerogative of mercy, has granted unconstitutional pardon and clemency to 33 convicts serving various terms in the Correctional Centres in Abakailiki and Afikpo in Ebonyi State,” he said.

“The Governor [did this] in line with the Federal Government to decongest the prisons following the outbreak of the deadly Coronavirus disease which the entire world is fighting so that it won’t escalate in the country.

“Governor Umahi believes that the idea of social distancing which is being preached in the state may not be attained if the correctional facilities in the state are not decongested.

“The social distancing will not be attained because of the way the inmates are arranged at the centre and has urged the convicts so pardoned to be accepted by their relatives, villages and families.”

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