The Ekiti State Government said on Monday it would release the “low risk” inmates of the Ado Ekiti Correctional Centre to further check the spread of COVID-19 in the state.
The state Attorney General and Comissioner for Justice, Mr. Olawale Fapohunda, disclosed this to journalists in Ado Ekiti, the state capital.
Fapohunda said Governor Kayode Fayemi had directed the ministry to immediately convene a meeting of the state’s Advisory Council on Prerogative of Mercy on the matter.
He said: “The governor is concerned about the possible impact of COVID-19 in the Ado Ekiti correctional centre.
“He has, therefore, directed that additional measures be taken to decongest the facility.”
He noted that persons in detention were particularly vulnerable to COVID-19 outbreak.
The commissioner added: “The step will not only help protect the prisoners, but also the staff of the correctional centre, lawyers and others who provide support to the facility.
“The Ministry of Justice will compile a list of identified prisoners for the consideration of the meeting of the Advisory Council on Prerogative of Mercy slated for Wednesday, April 15, 2020.
“We will focus on prisoners on pre-trial detention for minor or low risk offences.”
Fapohunda said the ministry would collaborate with the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), Legal Aid Council and Civil Society Organisations working on prisoners’ rights in the exercise.
He added that the measure was to ensure that no deserving inmate was left behind in the exercise.