No few than 1,574 inmates out of 1,761 prisoners in Anambra are currently awaiting trial for various offences, the state’s Controller of Prisons, Emmanuel Nwakaeze, has said.
Although this figure gives about 89 per cent awaiting trial inmates, the official said the actual percentage is 78 per cent.
Mr Nwakaeze, who gave the figure in an interview with journalists in Onitsha on Friday, said the inmates spread across four prisons in Aguata, Onitsha, Awka and Nnewi.
According to him, 48 of the of the awaiting trial inmates are females.
“The total number of awaiting trial inmates constituted 78 per cent of the total inmates in the state prisons.
“The Awka Prison houses 374 inmates; Onitsha Prison has 887 inmates; Nnewi 282 and the Aguata Prison has 218 inmates. 65 per cent are citizens of the state,” he said.
The Controller noted that 30 inmates were currently condemned in the prisons under the command.
Mr Nwakaeze said congestion was the major challenges of the command as it created room for unhealthy environment that could lead to outbreak of cholera, tuberculosis and other killer diseases.
He appealed to Governor Willie Obiano, Non-Governmental Organisations and philanthropists to assist the command with waste disposal tanks and vehicles for the evacuation of wastes.
The commander also solicited assistance in the area of electricity transformers, vehicles, ambulances and other amenities to improve the welfare of inmates.
He commended the Controller-General of Prisons, Ja’ Afaru Ahmed, for improving the welfare of prisoners and promotion of officers.
“The Controller-General has done a lot to ensure the decongestion of prisons across the country.”
He also commended the state governor and the chief judge of the state for their initiatives to decongest the prisons yearly.