The Ekiti Government says all is set for the release of “low risk” inmates of the Ado Ekiti Correctional Centre to further curtail the spread of COVID-19 in the state.
The Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice in the state, Mr Olawale Fapohunda, made the disclosure to newsmen on Monday in Ado Ekiti.
Fapohunda said Gov. Kayode Fayemi had directed the ministry of justice to immediately convene a meeting of the state’s Advisory Council on Prerogative of Mercy to that effect.
“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,” the attorney general said.
He noted that persons in detention were particularly vulnerable to COVID-19 outbreak.
“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,” he said.
Fapohunda said the ministry would collaborate with the Nigerian Bar Association, the National Human Rights Commission, Legal Aid Council as well as Civil Society Organisations working on prisoners’ rights in the exercise.
The commissioner for justice added that the measure was to ensure that no deserving inmate was left behind.