Obiano grants pardon to 10 prisoners
By Sunny A. David, Awka
The Anambra State Governor, Chief Willie Obiano has granted Executive Pardon to ten inmates of Aguata Prison, Ekwulobia.
The Governor granted them the pardon, while participating in a holy mass celebrated by the Auxiliary Catholic Bishop of Awka, Right Reverend Jonas- Benson Okoye, at the Prison premises.
The inmates granted pardon include Ebuka Eze, Monday Oweh, Chinedu Nwigwe, Onyeka Obi and Emeka Ezechukwu. Others include Obinna Nwankwo, Emmanuel Onyenwusi, Chigozie Nwankwo,
Chukwuebuka Okonkwo and Ogechi Onyeanwusi.
They were imprisoned for crime ranging from theft to fraud, and have stayed in the confines of the prison walls between six months to two years.
Governor Obiano who made it clear that their release is pending his signing of their papers, urged the inmates to turn a new leaf once they become integrated into the Society, asking those left behind to continue to behave well, noting that out of two hundred and eighteen inmates, over one hundred and fifty are still awaiting trial.
The Governor, while pointing out that the prison service is under the jurisdiction of the Federal government, promised to address some of their challenges including leaking roof, electric transformer and provision of bus as well as access road to the Prison.
The Comptroller in charge of Prisons in the State, Barrister Emmanuel Nwakeze, appreciated the State government for its timely assistance to prisons across the State, and commended the Officer in charge of the Aguata Prison for holding the forth and ensuring that there is no prison break or riot.
Earlier in a homily, Most Reverend Okoye said that humans are born free but in chains and admonished the inmates and the church on righteous conduct, thanking the Governor for always helping out when he is beckoned on.
The Officer in Charge of Aguata Prison, Mr. Patrick Ubenyi while highlighting the various challenges facing the prison, applauded the contributions of the State government and the church, towards effective penal system, saying that it has contributed in no small measure to the reduction of crime in the State.
A stakeholder in Aguata, Chief Titus Anagbogu, said that the gesture by the Governor lays credence to his humane disposition.
Others who spoke to our correspondent including the member representing Aguata Constituency, Mr. Ikechukwu Umenwa and Mr. Pete Ibida, representing Njikoka Two Constituency, urged everyone to emulate the Governor’s gesture of exhibiting kindness at every opportunity.
Some of the inmates, who also spoke to our correspondent appreciated the Governor’s gesture and promised to turn a new leaf.
The Governor was accompanied to the event by his wife, Chief Mrs. Ebelechukwu Obiano, Secretary to the State government, Professor Solo Chukwulobelu, Chief of Staff to the Governor, Mr. Primus Odili, party faithful in the area, among others.
Yam, toiletries, water, cooked food, cash gifts, among others were donated to the inmates, while, thanksgiving, administration of sacrament of confirmation on about fifteen inmates, cutting of cake featured at the event.