Joseph Yobo, a former captain of Nigeria’s men football team, Super Eagles, has said that his Joseph Yobo Foundation would work to release as many inmates of Ikoyi Prisons as possible, especially those awaiting trial.
He said that his foundation would secure bail for some of the gifted inmates who are stuck there over inability to afford it, train them and support them in the Ikoyi Prisons Football Academy which he inaugurated on Saturday in Lagos.
“The Joseph Yobo Foundation is ready to do everything within its means to grant bail to as many as possible that are awaiting trial, especially those in the facility’s football academy,” Yobo said at the event.
The ex-international who said he wanted to give hope to people, commended officials of the prisons for the work being done.
“I am happy with what is going on in this facility. I have never been here before but when I got here, what I saw jolted me,’’ he said. “I thought I will see persons looking very sad, rushing to go out but rather, I saw them very happy, cheerful and looking very hopeful.”
“We in our little way will want to give back to the society by giving hope to our brothers here behind the bars and give them a second chance because no one is above mistake.
“Having stayed here for a while, I am convinced that they must have undergone a great deal of reformation and rehabilitation,’’ he said.
Among dignitaries who attended the launch were a former Governor of Cross River, Donald Duke and his wife, Onari.
One of footballer inmates, who did not want his name mentioned, said he was looking forward to benefiting from the foundation.
He added that with his experience so far he would not disappoint those behind the initiative.
Joseph Yobo Foundation is collaborating with Sisters Cities Vocational/Rehabilitation Centre and the Nigerian Prisons Service in the latter’s football academy project, “Football Stars Behind Bars’’.