The Deputy Comptroller of Agodi Correctional Services, Alhaji Abd Jeleel Odunlami embarked on a significant familiarity visit to the Muslim Prisoners’ Welfare Forum on November 1st at the MUSWEN Secretariat, Iwo Road, Ibadan.
The meeting which was graced by over twenty-five Islamic organisations was presided over by the Executive Secretary of MUSWEN, Professor Musliu Tayo Yahyah, and featured crucial discussions on inmate welfare and restitution.
During his visit, Deputy Comptroller Odunlami expressed his heartfelt appreciation for the relentless efforts of the Muslim Prisoners’ Welfare Forum in providing humanitarian visits to the inmates at Agodi Correctional. He acknowledged the vital role played by these organizations in supporting inmates’ welfare and well-being.
Deputy Comptroller Odunlami also drew attention to the concerning increase in the number of inmates at the Agodi Correctional Center, with the current population standing at one thousand three hundred and forty-five. This overcrowding has raised significant challenges in providing suitable living conditions and rehabilitation opportunities for the inmates. In response, he called upon the Muslim organisations for support in addressing these pressing concerns.
One of the key topics of discussion was the need to engage the State government in reconsidering its stance on restitution payments by inmates after serving their jail terms. In contrast to the prevailing practice in Ogun State, where restitution payments are not required, Deputy Comptroller Odunlami highlighted that this approach has significantly aided in prison decongestion.
He proposed that the most effective route to instigate this change would be to approach the State House of Assembly and advocate for the enactment of a law supporting this practice.
In his goodwill message, Dr. Daud Amoo Ayodele Alaga encouraged Muslim organisations to take up their responsibilities in providing essential assistance to inmates. He underlined the potential challenges posed by non-Muslim workers within the prison system who might attempt to evangelise Muslim inmates. Dr. Alaga called for a united and vigilant effort by Muslim organisations to protect the rights and welfare of Muslim prisoners.
The meeting also included a question and answer session, allowing for interactive discussions and clarifications. After the engaging interaction, substantial gifts were presented to Deputy Comptroller Odunlami, marking a gesture of appreciation for his dedication and a symbol of the continued collaboration between the correctional services and the Muslim organisations in their shared mission to improve the lives of inmates.
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