As part of activities marking the 2014 press week, the Nigeria Union of Journalists, NUJ, Kaduna state council, on Wednesday, secured the release of 10 inmates from Kaduna Convict Prison.
The inmates, including a 65 years old man, were serving jail terms for their involvement in minor offenses such as theft, cheating and night crawling.
Speaking during the release of the prisoners, the Chairman of NUJ Kaduna State Council, Yusuf Idris, said it was the tradition of the Council in line with the celebration of its Press Week to always secure the release of prisoners who were either minors or aged but with bailable offenses and their release would not be a threat to the society.
Mr. Idris said the exercise was made possible with the assistance of the National Open University of Nigeria, NOUN, who footed the N89,000 fines.
“It is in our tradition to always secure the release of prisoners and this year, NOUN, under the able leadership of Prof. Vincent Tenebe agreed to pay the fines for the inmates, while the Council go about toperfect the release,” he said. “Every financial commitment was settled by NOUN.”
In his own response, the Vice Chancellor of NOUN, Vincent Tenebe, said the occasion was very special to its institution because NOUN was the only University set up by the Federal Government to take education beyond borders and also to the doorsteps of all Nigerians and into the prisons.
“We have study centres all over the country for special formations like the military and para-military and we have study centers even for the inmates,” he said. “It’s on record that we have already graduated some students who were inmates especially during our last convocation where we graduated students from the Kirikiri Prison.
“We also know that the main reason for setting up prisons is to bring about reformation. It is a reformation centre where people who have erred are reformed that they become better citizens. I have witness today inside the Kaduna Convict Prison that this is a well-organized place and I commend the activities of the officers and men that are managing this prison.
“When you go into the prison you will agree with me, NOUN is ready and well able to partner with the Nigerian Prisons and that is why we have a special study centre for the Nigerian Prison for the officers, men and their families and also especially for the inmates.
“I’m very happy that the NUJ Kaduna State Council is doing very well by providing corporate social responsibility by taking care of its immediate community and coming here annually to see how to help with the welfare of prisoners.”