COVID-19 can as well put smiles in some people faces in Nigeria. There are blessings in some grim situation. If there are no others, the prison inmates later to be released today and their families have a course to smile while the coronavirus pandemic lasts.
The Nigerian government has granted amnesty to 2,600 prisoners. Reducing the population of the prison is part of the measures to fight the spread of COVID-19 in the country.
The Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, revealed this at a press conference held at the headquarters of the Nigerian Correctional Service in Abuja.
Rauf Aregbesola said about 70 inmates, who are serving various terms for crimes against the society, would be processed and released later today.
Those to be released from the Kuje Custodial Centre in Abuja include 41 Federal inmates and 29 FCT inmates making a total of 70 inmates who met the above criteria.
The freed inmates also include prisoners that are 60years and above; convicts who are sick, those serving three years and above but have less than six months to serve; inmates with mental issues; and those with an option of fine not exceeding N50,000.
However, he explained the amnesty will not apply to inmates sentenced for violent extreme offences such as terrorism, kidnapping, armed banditry, rape, human trafficking, culpable homicide and so on. The Governors of the 36 states under whose jurisdiction most of the inmates were incarcerated will complete the exercise in line with the federal principle.