2,444 AWAITING TRIAL IN IKOYI PRISON BUILT FOR 800 INMATES

Segun Awofadeji in Bauchi

A total of 2, 444 inmates at the Ikoyi Prison are currently awaiting trial of different cases, the Deputy Controller of Prison and officer in charge of Ikoyi Prison, DCP Ogunshakin Ajiboye, has disclosed.

Ajiboye added that a total number of inmates in the prison was  2, 937, exceeding well above its 800 capacity.

Ajiboye made the disclosure when the Eko Electricity Distribution Company (EKEDC) paid the inmates a courtesy visit to identify with them as part of the company’s corporate social responsibility.

“We have a total number of 2,937 inmates, 2,444 are awaiting trial, while 493 have been sentenced. The rooms are over-crowded, we have between 120 to 150 inmates occupying a room”, he said.

“I appeal to the Lagos State Government to always turn minor cases to community services or little fines than sentence, which adds to the congestion,” Ajiboye added.

He explained that some of the inmates had learnt so much from the prison which had reformed their characters and attitude to conform to societal norms.

According to him, the prison has over 80 inmates writing the General Certificate of Education (GCE), over 57 sat for the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) and scored over 180 while some inmates are studying at the National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN) .

The DCP appealed to corporate organisations and non-governmental  organisations (NGOs) to assist in providing external teachers to teach the inmates, saying that had been a challenge for them.

“Science teachers have been a major challenge to the inmates. We urge corporate organisations and NGOs to assist in that direction”, he said.

Ajiboye, however, urged other Nigerians of goodwill and organisations to emulate EKEDC’s kind gesture to complement government’s efforts in taking care of prisoners.

He said that the rate of crime in the country was alarming and urged parents to be the first to teach their wards at home and be more guided.

“The welfare of prisoners is of paramount importance to government, and every effort by organisations and kind hearted individuals will assist greatly in achieving that aim,” he noted.

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