Nigerian diocese celebrates bishop’s jubilee by paying prisoners’ fines

The Diocese of Kaduna has marked the 25th anniversary of the consecration to the episcopate of the Rt. Rev. Josiah Idowu-Fearon by paying the fines of 25 indigent prisoners held in the city’s prison

The Church of Nigeria’s Diocese of Kaduna has marked the 25th anniversary of the consecration to the episcopate of its bishop, the Rt. Rev. Josiah Idowu-Fearon, by paying the fines of 25 indigent prisoners held in the city’s prison. On 28 April 2015 Bishop Idowu-Fearon, who earlier this month was named as the next secretary of the Anglican Consultative Council in London, went to the Kaduna Central Prison and paid twenty five N10,000 fines — approximately $50 for each inmate. The men were not immediately released, however, as the Kaduna Court clerks are on strike and the prisoners cannot be released from jail until an order is issued by the court showing the fines have been paid. Speaking to the Leadership newspaper, Bishop Idowu-Fearon said the diocese had paid the fines so the prisoners might “be able to regain their freedom. We were able to pay N250,000.00 in total for the 25 of them, but since courts are still on strike, the processes of releasing them cannot be completed, so as soon as the courts call off the strike, these inmates will be able to regain their freedom. We want to be releasing inmates every year because as men and women of God, that is our job. These inmates are of minor offences.” He added that he told the convicts they should “put into practice the discipline that has been instilled in them in the prison, and also some of the skills they have acquired like tailoring, car washing, carpentry etc, they should make use of them judiciously. We hope to assist some of them with equipments like sewing machines so that the freedom they will secure will be of great benefit to them without staying idle”.

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