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Executive Car Dealers Association pays court fines for release of 9 prisoners

THE EXECUTIVE Car Dealers Association in Kumasi has paid an amount of Gh 10,000 to the Kumasi Central Prisons for the release of nine incarcerated persons.

The nine people were serving different jail terms for failing to meet fines placed on them by the Courts after they were tried ad found guilty of committing various crimes.

The Executive Car Dealers Association also donated quantities of sachet water to the remaining inmates at the prison facility.

According to the donors, the gesture formed part of the Association’s resolve to support the underprivileged and needy persons in society.

Chairman of Association, Prince Kumi aka ‘Maxi’, pledged that the members would in the coming weeks, make another donation for the release of ten more prisoners.

Maxi further pledged that the Association would also provide chairs to the prison for use by the inmates during church service.

“Looking at the terrible conditions of the prisoners, we have decided to release ten more prisoners. We would also buy chairs for their church service because religion is one important institution which helps in the reformation of character”, Chairman Maxi noted.

Chairman Maxi also pleaded with institutions and well-endowed persons in society to also extend a helping hand to the prisoners.

According to him, despite Government’s efforts towards the prisons, there is still a lot more to be done so the private sector should get involved.

Francis Anane, who is secretary of the Association, appealed to the public for more financial support to the prisoners.

He opined that some of the inmates may even be practically innocent of the crimes for which they have been convicted.

Francis Anane therefore appealed to Government to increase the amount allocated to each prisoner on a daily basis.

He suggested that the amount of Gh1.80 budgeted on each prisoner per day is not enough to cover the three-square meal of each of the inmates on a daily basis.

Mr. Anane also made a passionate appeal to Government for the renovation of the cells and other infrastructure.

According to him, the situation in the prisons is pathetic and, therefore, deserved an urgent intervention.

He said “One could clearly see that the structures here needs maintenance works. Government should immediately step in to renovate the place. Upon engagement, we got to know they are given Gh 1.80 pesewas for feeding. It’s so meager and needs to be reviewed.”

The Ashanti Regional Public Relations Officer for the Ghana Prisons Service, Superintendent Richard Bukari, said the gesture would bring some relief to the 1,900 inmates, who live in a facility originally built to house 450 inmates.

He noted that about 80 percent of the prison inmates comprise the youth, most of whom have been jailed for failing to pay fines as low as Gh 200, adding that but for their crimes, these inmates could be contributing to national development.

“If people would replicate this gesture, more of such petty offenders would be out of the prisons because about 80 percent of the inmates here are youth. Again, none of the nine freed inmates is more than 30 years and is pathetic.”

Superintendent Bukari therefore urged the public to gladly welcome ex-convicts to allow for a successful integration of such persons into the society.

He stated that the act of deliberately severing ties with these persons could potentially send them back to the commission of crime.

He therefore expressed his excitement for the repeal of the death penalty sentence, arguing that since the prison is reformation centre, every inmate should be given the opportunity to reform.

Meanwhile, in an exclusive interview with some of the inmates, 20-year-old Opoku Adusei, said he was sentenced for failing to pay a fine of Gh 1,200 for breaking into someone’s shop.

Expressing regret, prisoner Opoku Adusei advised the youth to abstain from all forms of crimes and thanked the Executive Car Dealers Association for coming to his aid.

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