Congestion: Owerri prisons house 2,400 instead of 600 inmates

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The five branches that make up the Nigerian Bar Association in Imo State have urged the Federal Government to urgently initiate reforms that would decongest the Owerri Federal Prisons.
The Chairman of NBA , Owerri branch, Lawrence Nwakaeti , said the prison facilities were in a deplorable state .
Nwakaeti said it was unfortunate that the prison , designed to accommodate less than 600 inmates , now houses over 2, 400 inmates .
He spoke during an event to mark the 2017/ 2018 legal year in the state .
The lawyer said, “ Our prisons are congested. A facility meant to accommodate less than 600 inmates currently houses over 2 ,400 inmates .
The inmates are mostly those in the ‘ awaiting trials’ category .”
Speaking on the theme of the new legal year, ‘Judicial reforms and sustainable development in a democracy’, Nwakaeti said, “The Bar wishes to partner the state House of Assembly in the quick passage of the administration of criminal justice law in Imo State. At the stakeholders’ meeting convened by the NBA and Mac Arthur Foundation a few days ago in Abuja , the need for states to urgently domesticate their version of the administration of criminal justice law was seriously canvassed.”
The Chief Judge of the state, Paschal Nnadi, said the judiciary would partner the legislative and executive arms of government to strengthen the institutions of democracy and justice delivery system in the state .
Nnadi stated, “The judiciary will specifically partner the state executive and legislature to amend the High Court Law of Imo State by increasing the number of judges to be appointed to the High Court of Imo state.
“There is a need to establish more magistrate and customary courts in the state to address the volume of pending cases in those courts. The judiciary will continue to drive the reform agenda of the Chief Justice of Nigeria by enforcing ethical standards and prevention of any unwholesome practices by judiciary workers and court users. ”

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