The Comptroller of prisons in Kwara, Mr Adebiyi Ayokanmbi, has said that 402 out of 748 inmates in the four prisons across the state were awaiting trials. Ayokanmbi told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Ilorin that 268 inmates were awaiting trial in Ilorin prison, 117 in Mandalla, 14 in Omu Aran prison while three inmates were awaiting trial in Lafiaji prison.
402 inmates await trial, says Comptroller
The comptroller said the Ilorin prison established in 1914 for 121 inmates was heavily congested now because it was accommodating 364 male and four female inmates.
He said the Mandalla-medium prison established seven years ago had capacity for 160 inmates, but now accommodate 186.
Ayokanmbi said the Omu Aran-medium prison established six years ago has 56 inmates while Lafiaji, a farm centre has 49 inmates.
The comptroller, who that said each inmate was being fed with N200 per day, commended the Federal Government for increasing the daily feeding allowance to N300 per inmate. He lamented that lack of funds was an impediment to the smooth running of the prisons in the country, particularly in Kwara.
Ayokanmbi said this had hampered the establishment of skills’ acquisition centres like carpentry and tailoring workshops where inmates could be trained. This has made it difficult for the prisons to carry out their mandate as reformation and rehabilitation centres, he said.
He also lamented that there were not enough professionally qualified staff to train the inmates in skills’ acquisition in the prisons under his command. The comptroller, therefore, suggested that those in charge of state commands should be allowed to skilled artisans as junior officers as was the case until 2010.
These artisans would be able to train the inmates in various skills that would make them become self reliant after leaving the prison and be law abiding citizens. Ayokanmbi also advocated joint funding of Nigerian prisons by both the Federal and state governments to reduce the current heavy burden on the Federal Government.
The comptroller said with this arrangement in place, prison authorities would stop complaining of paucity of funds, he said.
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