2,413 Out Of 2,854 Inmates Awaiting Trial In Akwa Ibom Prison – Controller

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Mr. Julius Ezugwu, the Controller of Nigeria Correctional Service in Akwa Ibom Command, revealed that approximately 2,413 out of 2,854 inmates are awaiting trials in the four correctional facilities across the state.
Ezugwu disclosed this information during a one-day capacity-building workshop for the Akwa Ibom State Administration of Criminal Justice Monitoring Committee (ACJMC) in Uyo on Friday. The event was organised by the Law Hub Development and Advocacy Centre in collaboration with the MacArthur Foundation.
Summing up the total number of inmates in their facilities to 2,854, Ezugwu said that the custodial centres in the state have become overcrowded. He appealed for the domestication of the Administration of Criminal Justice Law (ACJL) in the state to help decongest custodial centres.
Ezugwu noted that the large number of inmates awaiting trial was responsible for the congestion of the centres, noting that the facilities were meant to reform convicts and not to accommodate individuals awaiting trial.
“We have a total of 2,854 inmates in the four facilities of the command, namely Uyo, Ikot Ekpene, Eket, and Ikot Abasi, respectively. Out of the total number, we have about 441 convicts and 2,413 inmates awaiting trial. I want to say that the correctional service has been doing its part creditably, and I am happy that this workshop on ACJL will lighten the weight of the correctional service,” Ezugwu stated.
In her remarks, Justice Ekaette Obot, the Akwa Ibom Chief Judge, mentioned that the domestication of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act by the Criminal Justice Law of the state would have a significant impact on the criminal justice system in the state. Justice Obot commended the Centre for organising the workshop to equip committee members with relevant knowledge to function effectively. She urged participants to take the training seriously, adding that the knowledge acquired from the event would help in the administration of criminal justice in the state.
Earlier in his opening remarks, Mr. Osita Okoro, the Executive Director of Law Hub Development and Advocacy Centre, stressed the need for the committee to have a functional secretariat for better operations. Osita, represented by Mr. Joshua Dada, a consultant with the Centre, urged the Akwa Ibom government to ensure the establishment of a functional, effective, and efficient Secretariat for the delivery of the overall mandate of the ACJMC. He said, “It is incumbent on the Akwa Ibom State legislature and criminal justice stakeholders to make provisions for the establishment and operation of the ACJMC and its Secretariat to ensure the standards set out above are adopted and implemented in line with the local context of Akwa Ibom state.”
Participants in the training were drawn from the Ministry of Justice, Nigerian Bar Association, Nigeria Correctional Service, Nigeria Police, and Non-Governmental Organisations across the state. (NAN)


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