Four convicts who were eligible to pay fines to secure their release have been released at the Ibara Correctional Centre, Abeokuta in Ogun State.
In what can be said to be luck, the four inmates were released after a chieftain of New Nigeria People’s Party (NNPP) in the state, Olufemi Ajadi paid the fines they were supposed to pay on their behalf.
The four inmates who were released include Damilola Opebi, Oyebolu Shina, Dare Lawal, and Oluwasegun Ayobami.
They four had been serving sentences at the correctional centre, awaiting the legal processes that could grant them their freedom before Ajadi who is the 2023 gubernatorial candidate of NNPP in the state paid the fines they were supposed to pay.
Ajadi in a statement made available to journalists on recently revealed that he was briefed about the problems facing the criminal justice system by his legal team led by Isaac Izunya.
He added that he took it upon himself to ensure that these individuals were not left languishing in incarceration due to their inability to pay fines when he was informed about their predicaments.
Ajadi added that he is not an advocate for criminal and illegal activities.
He said, “I am not an advocate for criminal and illegal activities but I believe that the penalties for the less criminal offenders could be paid for after the wrongdoers have sobered and promised to desist from such crimes.”
Izunya in his remarks asserted that this gesture was an embodiment of Ajadi’s vision for a more just and compassionate society, irrespective of political considerations.
He said, “The bailing of the four convicts by Olufemi Ajadi has undoubtedly added a new dimension to the political landscape in Ogun State”.
Opebi, who spoke after his release said that he is a skilled generator repairer, but found himself behind bars for an unexpected reason, buying a stolen phone.
He added that he was determined to leave the past behind.
“I want to engage myself now in a monthly paying job so that I will be a sponsor to my musical talent.”
Shina, who works as a receiving clerk in a supermarket in Ota, said that he was at the correctional centre due to missing goods.
“I was jailed because some goods under my watch got missing. I wish Olufemi Ajadi a successful outcome in all his endeavors for paying for my fine”.
Lawal, a motorcycle rider, faced a difficult choice when he stole someone else’s house rooftop to sell and raise money to repair his dilapidated motorcycle.
He said “I have been to jail, and Ajadi has paid my fine to be released. I promise Nigerians that I won’t engage in nefarious activities anymore. May Almighty God bless Olufemi Ajadi for his kind gesture for humanity.”
Ayobami, who is a truck driver, found himself ensnared by circumstances when he stood as a guarantor for his friend, Muse, who absconded with a motorcycle meant to be paid for in instalments
Ayobami said he was arrested on July 10, 2023, and sentenced to two-year imprisonment. Adding that Ajadi’s kind gesture has reversed the jail term.
He said, “Jail is real! Government is real. And I want my people to desist from uncivilized and ungodly activities.”