Over 2,400 inmates awaiting trial in Akwa Ibom – NCoS

THE Nigeria Correctional Service (NCoS) said over 2,400 inmates await trial in Akwa Ibom.

The command gave the number of inmates awaiting trial as 2,413 out of 2,854 inmates awaiting trials in the four correctional facilities across the state.

This was disclosed by the Controller, Nigeria Correctional Service, Akwa Ibom Command, Julius Ezugwu, on Friday, January 12.

On Friday, Ezugwu disclosed this at a one-day capacity-building session for the Akwa Ibom State Administration of Criminal Justice Monitoring Committee (ACJMC) in Uyo.

The MacArthur Foundation organized the event with the Law Hub Development and Advocacy Center.

He stated that there are 2,854 prisoners in all of their facilities and that the state’s detention facilities are overcrowded.

To relieve the strain on state correctional facilities, he appealed for the Administration of Criminal Justice Law (ACJL) to be domesticated.

He emphasised that the facilities were meant to be a place to reform offenders and not care for people awaiting prosecution, saying that the high number of detainees awaiting trial was the cause of the congestion in the centers.

“We have a total of 2, 854 inmates in the four facilities of the command, that is, Uyo, Ikot Ekpene, Eket, and Ikot Abasi, respectively.

“Out of the total number, we have about 441 convicts and 2,413 inmates awaiting trials,” Ezugwu stated.

He added that the correctional service has been doing its part creditably.

According to Ekaette Obot, the Chief Judge of Akwa Ibom, the state’s Criminal Justice Law’s domestication of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act would significantly impact the state’s criminal justice system.

It was reported in December 2023 that data from the Nigerian Correctional Service (NCS) showed that 54,141 inmates are awaiting trial in Nigeria.

The number represents 69 percent of inmates in the nation’s prisons.

To await trial means the court has yet to pass its final verdict on the crime committed. Hence, the alleged criminal is remanded until a judgment is passed. 

The data show that as of December 11, 2023, the number of inmates was 78,446, of which 24,305 had been convicted.

The number of inmates increased by 2,937 in December 2023 from 75,509 reported in December 2022.

 By gender, the total number of male inmates is 76,670, while females are 1,776.




     

     

    The ICIR reported that the NCoS refuted a media report that inmates in Nigeria are fed N200 daily.

    The NCoS, in a statement signed by its Public Relations Officer Abubakar Umar on Thursday, January 4, described the report as misleading.

    Umar said each inmate is fed with N750 daily rather than the N200 claimed.

    The statement added that authorities had, over the years, demonstrated commitment towards improving inmates’ welfare in terms of feeding and empowerment through practical reformation and rehabilitation programs.

     

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