Geoffrey Anyanwu, Awka
Thirty out of the 1,761 prison inmates in the four Prisons in Anambra state have been condemned to death and waiting execution.
Also 1,574 inmates out of the same number were currently awaiting trial for various offences, a figure that constitutes 78 per cent of the total inmates in the state prisons.
Disclosing this to newsmen yesterday in Awka, the Controller, Anambra State Command of the Nigeria Prisons Service (NPS), Mr. Emmanuel Nwakaeze, said 48 of the awaiting trial inmates were female.
The Controller said the 30 were condemned to death since he assumed office in Anambra Command.
According to Nwakaeze, Onitsha Prison has the highest number of inmates 887, followed by Awka with 374 inmates; Nnewi 282 and then Aguata with 218 inmates.
Noting that 65 per cent of the inmates were indigenes of Anambra, the Controller said that the inmates, who had paid the fine options of their punishment or served their jail terms, were released by either the state Governor or Chief Judge between December 2017 and March, 2018.
He said, “Others are still awaiting conclusion of their trial and so they still have to remain in prison custody until the court pronounced otherwise.”
Nwakaeze debunked allegations that Prison officials extort money from the inmates before taking them to court, stating that no prison official would ever extort money from inmates for any reasons whatsoever, under his watch.
Speaking on the welfare of inmates in the State Command, the Controller said congestion was the major challenge of his Command as it created room for unhealthy environment that could lead to outbreak of cholera, tuberculosis and other related killer diseases.
He made a passionate appeal to the State Governor, Chief Willie Obiano, NGOs, Philanthropist to come to the aide of the Command by providing it with Waste disposal tanks for the evacuation of waste surrounding the service premises, one electric transformer to give the prisoners sense of belonging, Ambulances and other lifesaving amenities that were needed to take good care of the inmates.
He commended the Controller General, Alhaji Ja’ Afaru Ahamed for his care on the welfare and promotion of over 13,000 officers and other measures put in place to decongest the Nigeria prisons across the Country.