Justice Ishaq frees Joy Goodluck jailed for theft

Joy Goodluck was jailed for stealing cassava

Joy Goodluck a young nursing mother jailed for three years in Port Harcourt for stealing a half bag of cassava has regained her freedom.

Joy, who was pregnant at the time of her trial in 2016, was released on the order of Justice Usman Bello Ishaq, chairman of National Stakeholders Committee on the Prison Reform and Decongestion.

Justice Ishaq is also Chief Judge of the Federal Capital Territory High Court in Abuja.

The lady from Imo state, was a month pregnant at the time of the offence.

She was set free last week, along with her baby after she narrated the circumstance that took her to the prison.

Meanwhile, the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN) has stressed the urgent need for all stakeholders in the justice sector, to address the issue of rights violation in the name of awaiting trial.

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Awaiting trial inmates constitute 70 per cent of Nigeria’s prison population.

Malami made this suggestion when he led the National Stakeholders Committee on Prison Decongestion to Rivers and Imo States between 5 and 6 February, 2018.

Malami decried the unchecked violation of fundamental rights of prison inmates across the country, explaining that the purpose of the visit was to oversee the implementation of the Federal Executive Council’s directive in fast tracking the decongestion of prisons.

According to him, the Committee would also review cases of inmates who have been convicted of minor offences with option of fines and are unable to pay.

“The Committee wishes to secure the release of as many of such inmates as possible through the payment of their fines.”

“I am therefore pleased to announce that the committee will, in addition to ensuring the payment of fines, also conduct a review of cases of inmates awaiting trial for more than five years, in the select priority prisons.

“These able bodied men represent our potential workforce; they represent tomorrow’s fathers to raise the next generations of Nigerians.

“We must therefore begin to find improved ways of addressing the issue of crime and the treatment of minor offenders in our criminal justice system”, the Minister said.

Chairman of the Committee Justice Ishaq Bello, during the tour of Imo State prison facilitated the release of 13 inmates, whose fines were paid by Governor Rochas Okorocha.

In Rivers State, 26 inmates also regained their freedom after Governor Nyesom Wike paid the fines imposed on them as sanctions.

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