Fifteen prisoners who have been serving prison terms ranging from 8 months to 2 years at the Sekondi Central Prisons for defaulting their court fines have been released after Zeal Environmental Technologies settled their fines worth GHS27,000.
The Chief Executive Officer of Zeal, Kweku Ennin, speaking at a short ceremony before their release from the Sekondi Central Prisons said the payment of the fines was in line with Zeal’s social investment commitment and to give the convicts a second chance in life.
“Most of the time, prisoners are forgotten in society, but they are human beings. It is through accident or faith that they find themselves here even though there are a lot of people out there who have committed worse offences but because of luck, they are not here but these unfortunate ones are here. So Zeal’s motivation to pay these fines is to show and encourage society to be fair to them and for us to assist them to realize that all is not lost, but there’s hope for the future”, he said.
Mr. Kweku Ennin who said they are also paying for all their transportation cost to get them home further hinted at plans to expand Zeal’s support to the Prisons.
“Zeal has a subsidiary which is the Ennin Medical Foundation with the purpose of providing medical outreach, hospital and prison visitation as a vehicle to win souls for Christ and today is a typical example of that. During our interaction with the Prisons authorities, it came to our attention that their infirmary has no bed and medicine as well as lack of painting, so our next project is to rehabilitate the Prisons infirmary. The next batch to benefit from our fines payment release programme would be the females“, he added.
The Operations Commander of the Sekondi Central Prisons, Superintendent Samuel Amarfio, who handed over the freed prisoners while commending Zeal for helping to decongest the prisons, asked the ex-convicts to break the barrier of coming back to the Prison and be good citizens.
“Now, much money and time have been spent just to free you. You would have served the full length of sentence if Zeal had not intervened. We thank Zeal for not only salvaging you but also helping to free up space at our Prisons. We are expecting that, as you’re going home, go and contribute to helping yourself and mother Ghana. We expect that you practice the trade or skill you have acquired here now that you’re free and break that cycle of doing something that will always bring you back here,“ he said.
One of the freed convicts, Robert Padmond Kodua, who is a former chainsaw operator while telling Citi News about how he ended up in prison thanked Zeal for giving him back his liberty.
“I am a Chainsaw operator, so I was arrested by the Forestry Commission while at the bush working without a permit. They sent me to court where I was jailed one year or pay a fine of GHS2,400. I couldn’t pay so I have been serving the term until today Zeal came to pay my fine to be released. I thank Zeal so much for releasing me today.“
The Central Prisons however appealed to the public to help resource the prison’s vocational centre to help inmates to be resourceful after serving their prison term.
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