By Bukar Bolori
Six inmates of the Medium Security Custodial Centre Suleja have regained their freedom courtesy of six students of Jewels Leading Light Academy, Abuja.
The six students, Dave Falade, Otse Unogwu, Ife Atilola, Zachary Abu, Ugomsinachi Okoronkwo and Nathan Oyinlola, all in JSS 2, football fans and friends decided on the humanitarian intervention under “The Duke of Edinburgh Project” initiative.
The students who paid a visit to the correctional facilities on Tuesday were the sum of N120,000 was paid as bail to effect the release of the six inmates, also took with them large quantities of toiletries for the remaining inmates at the centre.
On the choice of inmates, the students said: “We have volunteered to provide financial assistance in cash to the tune of N120,000, covering the fines for selected inmates who have demonstrated exemplary conduct and a sincere dedication to rehabilitation.”
The students who are between the age 11 and 12, that tagged themselves under “The Duke of Edinburgh Project” initiative as “The Champion’s Team,” said: “We decided to be part of this initiative because we would like to make a positive impact on the lives of people who need help and the society at large.
“We chose the name “The Champions” because we believe we are champions in every area of our lives.
“We have decided that for this project, our focus will be to raise resources both financial and material to support our fellow brothers and sisters who are in prison.”
They added that: “Most times, society forgets and neglects prisoners. As a group, we have decided that we are going to put smiles on the faces of the forgotten in our society.”
According to them, they raised financial support by selling some items in school and reaching out to family and friends for support.
One of the released inmates, while showing appreciation to the students for their gesture, said his way to the custodial centre began at about their age as he was stubborn and involved in smoking marijuana early in life, involved in petty crimes and had to drop out of university later in life.
He lamented that instead of mending his way, he kept at being obstinate, but in the custodial facility, he had changed as he was able to find solace in religion and the fact that he is loved.
He advised the students to stay away from drugs and listen to the advice of their parents on how to walk in life.