FIDA pledges to assist inmates regain freedom in Niger

The Niger chapter of the International Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA) on Saturday said that it would offer legal assistance to inmates in Minna Correctional Center to enable them regain freedom.

Ms Christy Barau, Chairperson, FIDA in the state, made this known in Minna during a visit to the correctional facility.
Barau said that those inmates that would be offered such legal support are those with genuine cases that have been denied their right.
“We have made it a

routine to visit correctional centre to identify with them, possibly help those that does not have lawyers to stand for them.

“We identify with them every year assuring them that the society still cares for them, no matter their situation.
“Some of them are here as a result of what they committed and some are here probably for the offence they know nothing about, we urge them to see it as an act of God,” she said.

She advised them to utilise the opportunity of being in correctional centre to learn something through skill acquisition made available to them in order to live a productive life after the incarceration.
“Remember not to go back to what brought you to correctional centre. Correct your ways now bearing in mind that this is not the end of life.
“Always remember that there is light at the end of the tunnel, utilise your time to learn one thing or the other before you leave,” she said.
Malam Mohammed Haruna, one of the inmates decried a situation where the Human Rights organisations that visit the facility end up not helping them.

“I have been here since 2011 with promises that things will get better especially from human rights who always come and go and we are still in the same hopeless predicament we find ourselves.
“If they are coming here and cannot do anything to help us regain our freedom they should stop coming and allow us to carry our cross. Let it be that this is how God want it,” he said.

Responding, the Assistant Controller of Minna Correctional Center, Mr Sule Momo, urged FIDA to maintain the relationship with the correctional center and explore ways of assisting the inmates by offering legal support to them.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the inmates were presented with food items by FIDA.

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