Nosa Akenzua, Asaba
Following serious congestion at various prisons in Delta state, no fewer than 247 awaiting trial inmates are currently on death roll, 36 freed, and 12 others granted bail by the state Chief Judge, Justice Marshall Umukoro.
Justice Umukoro at the end of his Prisons’ visitation on Tuesday, expressed regrets over the difficult times many of the inmates were facing, especially with the increasing congestion rate due to shortage of space, adding that a good number of Prisoners on death row had increased in the last few weeks from 233 to 247 .
The Deputy Controller of Nigeria Correctional Services ( NCS), Sir Solomon Airiohuodion had last week told Journalists in Warri that the inmates were facing precarious situation due to the Prisions’ congestion in the recent times and appealed to Federal and state governments to come to their aid.
Investigation revealed that Prisons across Delta state are completely congested with inmates lumped together with awaiting trial inmates including those on the death row as worse hit poor environment condition where emptied cans of mill among others litter nooks and crannies of the Premises.
Although prisions’authorities have dispelled poor sanitation at various prisons in the state as untrue and unfounded allegations, but insiders alleged that the environments stinks to high heavens with dumped tissue papers, others including not properly swept by the concerned workers who preferred the Inmates to work for them.
Justice Umukoro has however during the Prisons’ visitation, especially to Okere Prison in Warri Observed that the congestion situation might spell doom if urgent steps are not taken to offer solution to the problem, adding”awaiting trial inmates have been displaced from their cells due to over congestion and many of them are now are now living with condenmed convicts on death row, it’s against the rules and regulations of Correctional Services”
He said that the unfortunate living arrangement would bring about negative influence on the awaiting trial inmates adding that if the situation persists, there might be be terrible disaster on the situation.
At Ogwashi Uku prison, the Chief Judge explained that steps would be taken urgently to ensure decongestion and separate the condenmed inmates from others by way of creating separate Prison for them where they will live until otherwise in their situation,and called on those who regained freedom to always tread with cautions and aviod a repeat of what brought them to the prison earlier