Akwa Ibom state governor on Wednesday, April 29, granted amnesty to 68 inmates in a bid to decongest correctional centres in the State.
The inmates were drawn from four correctional centres in the state including, Uyo, Ikot Ekpene, Ikot Abasi and Eket.
A breakdown shows that 22 of the inmates were from the Uyo correctional centre, 17 from Ikot Ekpene, 12 from Ikot Abasi and 17 from Eket correctional center.
Governor Emmanuel, during the exercise maintained that decongesting correctional centres is a continuous process, adding that government will not rest on its oars until the agenda of decongestion of correctional centres has been achieved.
Governor Udom Emmanuel who spoke through the State’s Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Barr. Uwemedimo Nwoko said inmates considered for amnesty were basically inmates who had spent several years in correctional centres and had developed serious health issues. He said inmates were also considered on grounds of age for amnesty while inmates with minor offenses were equally considered. Inmates with major crimes such as kidnapping were declined pardon. Those pardoned were advised to be of good conduct.
Inmates who regained freedom thanked governor Udom Emmanuel for graciously granting pardon. Each of the freed men who spoke expressed gratitude for the opportunity to rejoin their families and expressed the hope that skills and knowledge learnt while spending time at correctional centre will make them useful members of the society.
The controller of Akwa Ibom state correctional centres, Mr Alex Oditah who graced the occasion advised freed inmates to be deliberate about making impact in their society as an evidence that the years at correctional centres were not wasted years.
Governor Udom Emmanuel assured that apart from granting freedom to the former inmates, he will ensure that the welfare department of the state helps to integrate the freed inmates into the society and support them to pick up their lives.