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Foundation frees 27 inmates to mark anniversary in Lagos

In its quest to assist in human capacity development and rehabilitation of inmates, Anchor Heritage Empowerment Initiative, a non-governmental organisation, has secured the release of 27 inmates who have been behind bars at the Kirikiri Medium Security Prison, Lagos due to lack of resources and legal representation.

The Chief Responsibility Officer of the foundation, Bidemi Oladipupo, said legal aid to inmates and accelerated efforts geared towards prison decongestion was necessary because of the high number of inmates awaiting trial.

According to him, the organization also offers empowerment programmes to the inmates on a regular basis considering most of them are released into the society without visible means of livelihood, which sometimes leads to such individual committing crime again and recycling to custody.

Reacting, the Officer-in-Charge, Kirikiri Medium Prisons, DCP Freedman Ben-Rabbi, said the prisons have got the best skills and it was only an opportunity for the inmates to correct their past mistakes and be good ambassadors of the society.

Some of the freed inmates who shared their experiences with The Guardian while thanking the group said government needs to do more to monitor the cases that bring people to prisons. One of them, a father of four who wished to remain anonymous, said the foundation’s gesture guaranteed his freedom without him paying a penny for legal representation.

“The government and other organizations need to look into this, because a lot of people are here today for very little things or something they know nothing about, I might have been lucky but others may not be”, he said.

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