FCT minister forfeits May salary to free 5 inmates

Ramatu Tijjani Aliyu

Minister of State, Federal Capital Territory, Ramatu Aliyu, has forfeited her salary for the month of May to secure the immediate release of five inmates who could not pay for their fines at the Kuje Correctional Service.

The minister made the donation while felicitating with the inmates as part of activities to celebrate this year’s Eid al-Fitr.

In a statement on Tuesday by her media aide, Aliyu said the move would help decongest the correctional service already overcrowded with inmates in view of COVID-19 pandemic.

She assured the inmates that the FCT administration would take further legal steps to see to the decongestion of the Kuje correctional service.

“I will not only support the reduction, but I will also lend my voice in the reduction of prison inmates by picking up some bills,” she said.

“I will carry out the campaign and speak to well-meaning Nigerians because you cannot leave the burden of good governance to government alone.

“We know that some of you are awaiting trial, we know that some have not been tried at all, but provided there is law, we will not be lawless.

“We will go by the law and get in well-meaning Nigerians and pay up the fines. This will also go a long way to reduce the number, besides government pronouncements.”

Earlier, The Comtroller, Correctional Service, FCT Command, Mustapha Atta, who commended the minister for her visit, expressed displeasure over the number of inmates awaiting trial.

Attah revealed that 70 per cent of the inmates were awaiting trial, adding that Kuje correctional service with a capacity of 560 inmates, now accommodates no fewer than 866 inmates.