Akwa Ibom correctional service exceeds capacity with 1,223 inmates
State govt tasks corps members on discipline
Controller of Correctional Service, Akwa Ibom State Command, Alex Oditah, has disclosed that the facilities of the service in the state have 2,559 inmates as against its capacity of 1,336, thereby overstretching the facilities with an excess of 1,223 inmates.He stated this while speaking with newsmen in Uyo yesterday on the first Inmates’ Rehabilitation Concert Unity for Success Security Week 2019.
Speaking on the theme, ‘Effective Leadership: A Recipe for Peace, Security and National Development’, he explained that 70 per cent of inmates in the facilities were awaiting trial, adding that the four facilities in the state have been over stretched due to the large number of inmates awaiting trial.
He explained that the Uyo Correctional Centre has capacity for 613 inmates, but now accommodates 1,282; Ikot Ekpene Centre has capacity for 400, but accommodates 756 inmates; Eket Centre has capacity for123, but now holds 365 inmates, while Ikot Abasi Centre has capacity for 200, but now has 156 inmates.
He also said 41 inmates, comprising 39 males and two females were on death row, adding that some inmates who have passed through their custodian centres have been rehabilitated, but many who were released have become hardened due to rejection from society and their families.
Oditah expressed the hope that when the the Correctional Service Act 2019 becomes law, most of the challenges of the agency, especially that congestion would be resolved.He, however, lamented that the Correctional Service was the least celebrated among security agencies in the country and hoped the situation would improve, noting that the committee, which was set up by the Controller General to investigate the alleged death of an inmate and the crisis that resulted from the incidence have concluded its assignment.
He stated that as soon as the report on the investigation was ready, it would be made public. Meanwhile, Governor Udom Emmanuel has charged the 2019 Batch C Stream II Corps members posted to the state to show discipline, which he said, was the hallmark of the scheme.He gave the charge during the swearing-in of the corps members at the Permanent Orientation Camp at Ikot Itie Udung in Nsit Atai Local Council Area yesterday.
The governor, who was represented by the Commissioner for Youth and Sports, Monday Uko, enjoined the corps members to approach the service with a positive mind set, adding that the state government would continue to pursue policies that would improve operations of the scheme and the corps members.
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