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Imo orders relocation of correctional facility after jailbreak

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• Govs tasked on intervention mechanisms against attacks
Worried about the April 12,2021 jailbreak at the Nigerian Correctional Service (NCS) headquarters on Okigwe Road in Owerri, where no fewer than 1,844 escaped, Governor Hope Uzodimma of Imo State has ordered the relocation of the facility to Port Harcourt Road within same capital city.

To facilitate the move, a joint technical team, chaired by the Commissioner for Housing and Urban Development, Love Ineh, has been constituted by the governor.

The Guardian gathered that ex-governor Rochas Okorocha, at the twilight of his administration, constructed befitting head offices for both the NCS and police at less-congested Port Harcourt Road, but the authorities reportedly rejected the donation, unofficially citing structural defects.

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But a statement yesterday by Uzodimma’s Special Adviser (Public Enlightenment), Eze Ugochukwu, said the team had inspected the new location to ascertain areas that needed fortification.

The document read in part: “A joint inspection of the new prison facilities along Port Harcourt Road was carried out by a combined team of Imo government and NCS officials on Friday, April 16, 2021, to give effect to Governor Hope Uzodimma’s resolve to relocate the headquarters from the chokehold of the city centre near Douglas House.

“The government delegation was led by the Commissioner for Housing and Urban Development, Lady Love Ineh and the Commissioner for Special Projects, Kingsley Ononuju (Ekwedashike), while the NCS officials were led by the Controller, Kingsley Njoku.

“After the tour, it was agreed that a joint technical committee involving all stakeholders be established to carry out a comprehensive evaluation and technical appraisal of what needed to be done to make the place operational.”

IN a similar vein, the South-East Resilient and Support Group (SERSuG), yesterday, urged the 36 state chief executives to design mechanisms of intervening with resources to beef up endemic security-prone areas, regretting the recent killing of “a captain and 11 soldiers in Benue and the coordinated attacks on police headquarters and correctional service centre in Imo, Ebonyi and Anambra states.”

In a statement by the coordinator, Prince Chris Azor, the group described the dastardly acts as “needless and signposting worsening security situation in the country.”

According to SERSuG, the latest meeting of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) underscored the need for a comprehensive evaluation of the insecurity in the land with a view to strategically tackling the menace.

The coordinator pleaded with the forum to tackle the matter with the urgency it deserved in the interest of “national peace and unity.”

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