Bio Releases 214 Prisoners


By Aruna Rashed Toma Bangura

His Excellency the President, Julius Maada Bio has, past Tuesday, 22nd January, invoked Section 63, Subsection 1 of the 1991 Constitution to exercise his prerogative of mercy by discharging some two hundred and fourteen (214) inmates in correctional centres nationwide.

According to the Public Relations Officer at the Sierra Leone Correctional Centre, Christian Sesay, the President has the power to release prisoners on New Year’s Day and on the 27th April (Independence Day) as stipulated in the National Constitution of Sierra Leone.

Out of the said figure, eighty four (84) male inmates, he said, were released from the Male Correctional Centre on Pademba Road, Freetown, seven (7) female from the Female Correctional Centre at the Special Court, New England Ville, Freetown, eleven (11) from Makeni, fifteen from Sefadu, four from Bo and eighteen from Mafanta Correctional Centres. Most of the prisoners released, he disclosed, were incarcerated for minor offences such as fraudulent conversion, theft and wounding.

According to the head of the Female Correctional Centre, Elizabeth Gbagla, this is the first time they have had up to seven inmates released from the female section, adding that three of the them have already secured an account with the Rokel Commercial Bank. The three, she said, were engaged in various skills training whilst in detention.