Sokoto - Governor Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto State and his predecessor, Senator Aliyu Wamakko (APC-Sokoto), have donated N2.88 million to 107 inmates of Sokoto Central Prison who graduated from various Holy Qur'an recitation and memorisation courses and skills acquisition programmes.
The duo announced the donation on Wednesday in Sokoto during the graduation ceremony of the inmates, organised by the state command of the Nigerian Prisons Service ( NPS), in conjunction with Wamakko.
Tambuwal donated N2 million to the inmates out of the amount, while Wamakko donated N880,000.
Fourty-four of the inmates graduated from the Holy Qur'an recitation and memorisation courses, while 63 graduated from the various skills acquisition programmes conducted by the state government.
Tambuwal, who was represented by the Sokoto State Commissioner for Religious Affairs, Alhaji Mani Katami, commended the command for organising the event, which was the second in its annual series.
The Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa'ad Abubakar III, represented by the District Head of Sokoto North, Alhaji Buhari Abubakar, urged Nigerians to complement the efforts of the government in providing the welfare needs of inmates.
In his remark, Wamakko pledged the commitment of the National Assembly to do everything humanly possible to decongest Nigerian prisons.
Also read: Muslim women feed Christian inmates at Kaduna prison
He said "I am also calling on chief justices in Nigeria, the police and the courts to make deliberate efforts to ensure speedy dispensation of justice.
"This is important in decongesting the prisons which are overwhelmed with awaiting trial inmates across the nation."
Wamakko said that his plea was premised upon the adage that justice delayed was justice denied.
The Controller General of the Nigerian Prisons Service, Dr Peter Ezenwe, who was represented by Shehu Kangiwa, the Assistant Controller General, Budget and Finance, said that the Federal Government was committed to prisoners' reformation.
He said "the service is also committed to improving staff welfare in accordance with the change mantra of President Muhammadu Buhari."
The controller of the state command of the service, Mrs Hawwa Shettima, said the prison was overwhelmed with awaiting trial inmates.
"The capacity of Sokoto Central Prison is 576 but it has more inmates than its capacity. As at today, the open-out is 754.
"Out of this, 557 are awaiting trial, while 194 convicted. As such, facilities for awaiting trial are overstretched. Please come to our aid," she appealed.
Wamakko also donated copies of the Holy Qur'an , clothing materials and various working tools to the inmates.
Other items donated were sewing and knitting machines, equipment for welding and electrical electronics, as well as items for soap making.