By Prince Oben Agbor, Kumba - 37 inmates from the Kumba Prison of the South West Region were set free last June 15, 2010. This action was in keeping with a ministerial order signed by the Vice Prime Minister, Minister of Justice and Keeper of the Seals, Amadou Ali, setting Tuesday June 15, 2010, as the deadline for prison authorities in the country to respect a recent presidential decree commuting and remitting sentences in Cameroon.
Urged to do right
In a grand ceremony presided at by the Deputy State Counsel for Meme Division, Madam Nzene Florence, in the company of her colleague, Magistrate Mbiatem Oben Charles, the 37 inmates were urged to be the prison's ambassadors by going into the society and do only the right things. She told them to engage themselves in one thing or the other so as not to be idle, for idleness she said was the devil's workshop that can push them into wrongdoings. She further called on them to pray always for God's mercy.
Ameliorate prison conditions
Meanwhile, speaking earlier and in a welcome speech, the Superintendent of the Kumba Prison, Fombouo Thierry Fopa, said the government is doing its best to ameliorate prison conditions in the country. He cited the purchase of a new van for the prison. He enjoined the 37 inmates to go and face the reality of life and not to come back there again even though everything therein is free of charge.
A total of 158 inmates benefited from the presidential pardon number 2010/158 of 20 May, 2010 signed by the Head of State, Paul Biya, on the occasion of 50 years of Cameroon's independence and reunification. Of the 158, 121 others benefited from reduction of their sentences. Those freed had their sentences equal to or less than one year.
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