Kano state government has freed 500 inmates, who could not afford to pay various fines or compensation, from 10 prisons in the state.
Addressing the freed inmates at Kano Central Prison, Kurmawa, in Kano city, the state governor, Dr. Abdullahi Umar Ganduje explained that the gesture is 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”, the governor lamented.
He, therefore, 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.
He promised that the freed inmates would undergo entrepreneurship training and be given grants to start economic ventures, so that they can fully integrate into the mainstream of the society.