Nigeria: Christian body sets up legal unit to help inmates secure release
Minna, July 16, 2018 (AltAfrica)-Prison Fellowship Nigeria, a Christian body, says it has set up legal unit to afford inmates opportunity to access free legal services and for the fellowship to mobilise funds to pay fines of convicted inmates in Niger.
Pastor Peter Okere, the Chairman of the Niger State Chapter of PFN, announced this in Suleja during a news conference on the chapter’s Week of Prayers for prison inmates and their families.
He said that the legal unit would also help in contacting family members to perfect the bail conditions for inmates who could not perfect their bail-bonds.
“It will interest you to note that some inmates are serving prison terms for just N5,000 fine or less which they cannot pay or for some other flimsy grounds while some inmates cannot secure sureties to perfect their bails.
“The prisons, mainly in Niger, are awash with terrible tales of inmates who have no business being in prisons, but are there, thereby congesting our prisons.
“This sorry state has led to increasing call on us, as a Christian body, to channel more efforts toward looking into the cases of inmates and do all we can to effect their release,“ he said.
He disclosed the PFN Week of Prayers 2018 entitled: “Love Always Perseveres’’ would hold between July 22 and July 29 in Suleja, Niger.
“It will be part of the global event organised by the Prison Fellowship International.
“The week is designed as a special occasion for PFN to communicate and connect with religious bodies and communities to focus on ministry, the families of prisoners and victims of crime, among others.
“It will witness prayers for prisoners, former prisoners, their families, victims and prison chaplaincy as well as raise funds and other support for Prison Fellowship and inmates.“
“The week will also witness the formal investiture of Grand Patron and Patrons of PFN and awards to deserving members of the public who have contributed to the wellbeing of PFN.’’
“Also, Justice Olowo Ojo, the Chairman of the Organising Committee in reeling out events lined up for the week, said there would be visitation to Nigerian Prisons Service in Suleja on July 28.“
He said the day event with theme: “Prisoners are Human Too’’, would witness interaction with inmates, free medical and legal services to them and donation of various items.