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Okorocha decries prisons’ condition nationwide

By Collins Osuji and Charles Ogugbuaja, Owerri
08 April 2019   |   3:43 am
Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo State has decried the condition of most prisons in the country, including the one in his state. To this end, he has built a 3,000-capacity cell outside Owerri capital city. Okorocha stated this when the Controller-General of Prisons, Ja'afaru Ahmed, visited him with the senior personnel of the prisons, in…

Imo state governor, Rochas Okorocha

Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo State has decried the condition of most prisons in the country, including the one in his state.

To this end, he has built a 3,000-capacity cell outside Owerri capital city.

Okorocha stated this when the Controller-General of Prisons, Ja’afaru Ahmed, visited him with the senior personnel of the prisons, in Douglas House, Owerri, at the weekend.

The Imo governor in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Sam Onwuamedo, also called for improved prison service and condition across the country.

Conducting the prisons boss round the facility, Okorocha noted that it was ready for commissioning by the president and handing over to the authorities.

His words: “I discovered that the state of Imo prisons was the worst, and I had to plead passionately with the controller-general not to display it further to the public because of the very poor images. I discovered that they were having about 70 to 100 inmates in one small room without facilities at all.

“This prompted the speedy construction of new prison headquarters with accommodation for over 3,000 inmates with offices, as a quick response and funded by the Imo State government. I hope that when this is replicated all over the country, the presentation of those pictures will no longer be relevant to all of us.”

Responding, the CG said he was excited by the edifice, applauding the governor for the gesture.

Meanwhile, a prison inmate serving in the country is pursuing his Ph.D programme at the National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN).

There are also 50 inmates who have graduated while 465 are doing various programmes at the open university.

Ahmed, during the tour of the new prison facility, said that some ambitious inmates were looking beyond life behind the walls.

His words: “The prisons pharmacy in Owerri is still stocked and we have started exposing prisoners to information and workshops as a way of reform. Today, we have prisoners with certificates of GL 1, GL 2 & GL 3. In fact, in Abeokuta Prisons, 50 inmates have graduated while 465 are doing degree programmes with NOUN. One is doing his Ph.D and this brought the attention of United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) to Nigeria to witness the combination of skill acquisition with education in Nigeria?”