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As part of efforts to decongest the prisons, the Rivers State Judiciary has granted pardon to 150 inmates, including two females from the Port Harcourt Correctional Centre.

Their release followed the recommendations of the State Chief Judge, Justice Simeon Amadi to relocate three chief magistrates to the correctional facility to hold special court sessions and release inmates with minor offences.

The three chief magistrates, Menenen Poronon, Victor Nweke and Rosemary Ibanibo for three separate days released a total of 150 inmates.

About 46 inmates were released last Friday, and 62 freed on Monday, while 42 inmates regained their freedom on Tuesday, bringing the total number of beneficiaries of the process to 150.

Addressing the freed inmates, Chief Magistrate Menenen Poromon, said they were released on merit based on minor offences that had resulted in overcrowding of the correctional facility.

While advising the freed inmates to steer clear from crime, Poromon urged them to locate their respective states and settle properly.

“We are not here to release back to the society people who ought not to be here due to no fault of any particular person. The system has not been very efficient as a result of that we now have the issue of overcrowding in the prisons.

“Since we started, 150 inmates have been released and I observe that so many of you came to Rivers State from far of land and you do not have any meaningful thing to do here. If you must remain in the state try and make yourself useful to the state,” Poromon said.

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