The International Federation of Female Lawyers, (FIDA Nigeria, Abuja chapter), a non –governmental association whose main aim is to protect, promote and preserve the rights of women and children in a bid to put smile on the faces of indigents in the society recently visited the Nasarawa state correctional facility to decongest the custodial centre.
FIDA in collaboration with Al-Muhibbah Foundation accordingly paid fines for some inmates whose sentence had such options.
In her welcome address, Chairperson of FIDA Abuja branch, Mrs Racheal Adejo-Andrew said FIDA, while carrying out their mandates of rendering free legal services to the indigent and the vulnerable, realized that most custodial centres in the country are presently housing inmates beyond their intended capacities.
She said these overcrowded facilities pose a potential threat to the health of inmates and by extension, the general public as has been rightly noted by the Chief judge of Nigeria, Honorable Justice Tanko Muhammad in a circular.
She said “flowing from the above and in view of the recent COVID-19 pandemic, the United Nation has called on countries around the world to consciously reduce the population of prison inmates since physical distancing and self-isolation in the prison conditions are practically impossible.
“It is instructive to mention that one of the objective of FIDA is to promote the principles and aims of the United Nation in its legal and social aspect.
“Accordingly, in realization of the above aforementioned objectives and considering the exigencies of these times with specific reference to this pandemic, FIDA in collaboration with Al-Muhibbah Foundation as earlier stated, seek to decongest custodial centres across Nasarawa state command by the payment of fines for 41 inmates”.
In his address, Chief Judge of Nasarawa state, Justice Suleiman Dikko thanked FIDA for their kind gestures of paying fines for inmates with such options urging them to continue putting smiles on the faces of the indigents in the society.
He also called on other civil society organisations and members of the public to extend such gestures to help decongest the custodial centres.
Comptroller of the Nasarawa state command of the correctional services, Emmanuel Okoro was full of appreciation to FIDA Abuja branch for extending their magnanimity to the whole Nasarawa state command.
He urged the inmates to be of good behavior as this is a continuous process that will likely get to all those who have option of fines.
Representative of AL Muhibbah foundation, Mr. Emmanuel Okoro said the foundation sees the need to touch the indigent in the society focusing on the women and youth.
He said the aim of the foundation is to reach out to the less privileged in the society. “Touching the lives of vulnerable children and people living with HIV,” he added.