The former Edo Commissioner for Arts, Culture, Tourism and Diaspora Affairs, Osaze Osemwengie-Ero, with the backing of the Edo State Government has secured the release of eight detainees from the Oko correctional facility in Benin City.
The ex commissioner hosted the liberated inmates who were imprisoned for negligible offenses like fighting, stealing and pernicious harm on Wednesday, to commend the one-year commemoration of his independence from unlawful confinement in Italian jails.
Osemwengie-Ero was unlawfully kept in Italian jails for exaggerated accusations of mafia-related offenses and was released in May 2021
He said, “This is precisely one year today since I was released from jail in Italy. I took a gander at it and I said, indeed, most of the time when we are celebrating commemorations, we visit orphanage homes and the less privileged and give out to motherless children and all that.
“But, I expressed that in accordance with what I went through in Torino Prison in Italy, I should facilitate the release of a few innocent individuals in Oko jail in Benin who can’t bear the cost of either the fine they were given or some of them who were imprisoned for trivial violations.”
The former commissioner further noted, “When I visited the controller of the correctional facility in a joint effort with the ministry of justice to go through the detainee’s list, it disheartened me to realize that someone burned through 90 days in jail for just N20, 000.
“That is wickedness; I don’t have the foggiest idea about how the justice system functions. I’m not a legal counselor but rather I figure they would have involved that sort of an individual for community administration as opposed to saving that individual in jail for just N20, 000.
“Going through the list, we figured out that there are individuals who were condemned with a fine of N50,000 or two-years detainment, N100,000 or three years detainment, and N200,000 or three years detainment.
“You can envision keeping someone in jail for a considerable length of time in view of N100, 000. When the individual returns out of that jail how is he going to fit into the system?
“In this way, we chose to connect with companions to raise N2 million and secure the freedom of eight detainees and for other planned operations. I’m exceptionally happy that God is utilizing me to do this and connect with mankind,” he added.
On his part, the Commissioner for Communication and Orientation, Mr. Andrew Emwanta, consoled the government obligation to guaranteeing the prosperity and security of Edo inhabitants, swearing to support organization with the convener to sustain the drive.
He charged the freed inmates to stay off wrongdoing and leverage the training and employment opportunities given by the state government through the state’s skills development agency, EdoJobs.