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Governor Ayodele Fayose of Ekiti State, yesterday said that he would have loved to release all prison inmates but could not because he is to in the position to do that.
The governor, who decried the deplorable condition of the facilities in all the Nigerian prisons called on the federal government to effect serious overhauling in the interest of the inmates, urging the Federal Government to , as a matter of urgency, upgrade facilities in the prisons across the federation.
The governor made the statement in Ado Ekiti, on yesterday during a visit to the prisons to examine the state of the facilities.
The governor said this in reaction to the pleadings by some spouses of the inmates, especially those whose husbands were in prison for crimes of political violence, appealing to governor Fayose to release them.
He was escorted to the place by the Chief Judge of the State, Justice Ayodeji Daramola.
Those being imprisoned for alleged politically-motivated killings include: former Chairman of the Road Transport Employers’ Association of Nigeria, Chief Rotimi Olabiwonu, his predecessor, Mr Bayo Aderiye, the Coordinator of the Oodua Peoples Congress in Ekiti, Mr Niyi Adedipe, Mr Sola Adenijo, among others.
They were detained over the deaths of Mr Ayo Jeje and Chief Omolafe Aderiye, the ex-Chairman of the National Union of Rod Trasnort Workers in Ekiti.
However, the governor could not ensure the release of the inmates as the Chief Judge of the state, Justice Daramola, advised that due process be followed before he can veto their release.
“My hands are tied because I have to follow due process. Left to me, I would have loved to release all inmates,” Fayose said.
“We will definitely pardon some inmates but we have to follow due process. We must have the facts and figures before vetoing their release. We have come to see the facilities in the prisons and see how we can help. We have seen the facilities here and we are not happy.
“The buildings here houses almost 200 people but whatever their offences they are still entitled to good condition of living.
“We therefore appeal to the Federal Government to upgrade the facilities available for prison inmates in the state here.
“The walls surrounding the prison are vulnerable, that was why we experienced the last time prison break, but that would not happen again. As a state government, we will support the prison with an
additional building, a borehole, health facilities and toilet facilities.
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