The Jigawa Command of the Nigerian Correctional Service (NCoS) has inaugurated an 11-members Parole Board in the state.
The board was inaugurated on Wednesday by the Chief Judge (CJ) of Jigawa State, Justice Umar Sadik, in Dutse.
Sadik, represented by Justice Abdulhadi Sulaiman, described the the incorporation of the parole system into Nigeria’s Criminal Justice Administration.
He added that the gesture would assist in decongesting custodial centres nationwide and reduce administrative costs.
“The Inauguration of the parole board for Jigawa State could not have come at a better time than this when the implementation of the provision of the Administration of Criminal Law is at top gear.
“It is lamentable to state the we’ve borrowed the British penal system without the accompanying safety elements of the parole system and the borstal homes.
“If the parole system had earlier been incorporated into our Criminal Justice Administration, our country and society would have been saved from prison congestion and its concomitant financial burden and frequent jail break. But as the saying goes.
“But as the saying goes, it is better late than never, and a stitch in time saves nine,” he said.
The CJ, who congratulated the management of NCoS for their foresight and initiatives, urged the board the board to discharge its duty diligently.
Earlier, the NCoS Controller in the state, Mr Muazu Charanchi, described parole as a temporary or permanent release of an from a lawful custody (prison) before the expiration of his sentence.
Charanchi said parole, if granted, would end the punishment/service term of an inmate outside the correctional centre on the promise of good behaviour.
In his remarks, the Emir of Dutse, Dr Nuhu Muhammad, commended the Federal Government for introducing the parole system and assigning competent people to serve as members of the board in the state.
Muhammad, represented by the Galadima of Dutse, Alhaji Nasiru Sunusi, said the would along in decongesting custodial facilities.
“As Traditional Institution, we’re satisfied with the calibre of people nominated by the Federal Government to serve as members of the parole board in Jigawa.
“We believed that the nomination was done based on merit and hearing the names of those nominated, we know that they merited it,” Muhammad said.
He, therefore, urged members of the board and media to educate members of the public against rejecting or stigmatising those released from custodial faculties.
“It is worrying that if an inmate was release from custody upon completion of his jail term, he finds it very difficult to reintegrate into the society due to rejection or stigmatising by the society, or even family members in some instances.
“Therefore it will be good if people, particularly at the grassroots will fully educated on this parole system so that they don’t begin to suspect that such inmates released back to the society on parole basis were released illegally.
“It will also be good so that they will not be rejected or stigmatised, if not the aims will be defeated since parolees are not accepted back by their respective communities or families,” he advised.
The parole board has Justice Ahmed Isah-Gumel (rtd) as Chairman, Muhammad Lawan, an Assistant Controller of Corrections in-charge of Non-Custodial Service in Jigawa Command of NCoS as Secretary and Mr Mu’azu Charanchi, the NCoS Controller as member.
Other members were drawn from the Nigeria Police Force, Ministry of Justice, Psychiatric Hospital, National Directorate of Employment (NDE) and Federal University Dutse (FUD).