• Thursday, April 18, 2024
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Kuje graduate inmates seek presidential pardon

Kuje graduate inmates seek presidential pardon

About 58 graduate inmates in Kuje Correctional Centre have appealed to President Bola Tinubu to grant them a presidential pardon.

They appealed when Bosun Tijani, the minister of communications, innovation and digital economy, visited the facility to donate packs of food in commemoration of the 72nd birthday of President Bola Tinubu at the weekend in Abuja.

Chiwendu Hart, who spoke on behalf of the graduate inmates, described the gesture as an act of love, adding that they were not in the correctional service for punishment, but correction.

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According to him, “I want to appeal to the president through the minister to grant inmates in Kuje Correctional Centre a presidential pardon.

“For some of us who have learnt our lessons and those that the officials can recommend, the president should consider us for a presidential pardon.

“When the Federal Government commissioned the programme, students were few, now a lot of inmates want to enrol in the programme, but it is difficult because of logistics challenges.”

Hart said, “The Nigerian Correctional Service has set up degree courses, managed by the National Open University (NOUN) and some skills to keep the inmates busy while undergoing trial.”

He noted that he had done his first degree, obtained a master’s degree in theology and is waiting to enrol for his PhD.

“I am a beneficiary of NOUN, I came here with a secondary school certificate but today, I am a graduate and have my Masters in Theology.

“Even after you leave the correctional centre, you can still come back and finish the courses or the skills you started.

“Once we leave here, we will go out and explore what we learnt to live a good life.”

He urged the government to equip some of the vocational programmes with study materials, tailoring machines, carpentry and shoemaking tools.

Tijani, who was represented by his aide, Nafisa Bello, said the visit was to celebrate the president’s birthday by providing the inmates with packs of food and putting smiles on their faces.

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Kevin Afons, the deputy controller of correction in charge of Kuje, said that the service was committed to engaging and enabling inmates to become law-abiding and be gainfully employed after they have served their terms and are discharged from custody.