Tony John, Port Harcourt
The Port Harcourt Correctional Centre has been described as the most populated prison in the country with about 4,600 inmates.
The Comptroller of Port Harcourt Correctional Centre in Rivers State, Olumide Tuloye, disclosed this while speaking on the recent goal delivery by the State Chief Judge, Justice Adama Iyaye-Laminkara.
Tuloye noted that most of the inmates at the Port Harcourt Correctional Centre were on an awaiting trial list, saying the attention of the state Chief Judge had been drawn to the condition.
“Port Harcourt Correctional Centre is the most populated in all the Correctional Centres we have in Nigeria, which, as of today, is about 4,600 inmates. Majority of them are on awaiting trial.
“We have tabled our issue with the Chief Judge. The congestion we have are mostly people who are on awaiting trials. They are not people who have been convicted.
“We have tabled the issue with the Rivers State Chief Judge believing that this release (goal delivery) would be extended more to those who are on awaiting trial and have stayed longer in custody and their cases are not going on. I believe that she (State Chief Justice) would consider it. And the next goal delivery would be very soon,” Tuloye stated.
The Comptroller said the prisons’ authority would work with the judiciary to ensure that community services were adopted so that convicted persons could contribute to building society.
“But, very soon, definitely, you will begin to see that the Nigerian Correctional Service has started non-custodian measures. By the time it is fully implemented in conjunction with the judiciary, you may see a lot of these offenders that would not be remanded. Rather, you would see them working outside, clearing gutters, or sweeping. Very soon, you will begin to see that.”
The Chief Judge of the State, Justice Iyaye-Laminkara, had last Friday discharged 62 inmates during a goal delivery.