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2,413 out of 2,854 inmates awaiting trial in Akwa Ibom- Controller

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The Controller, Nigeria Correctional Service, Akwa Ibom Command, Mr Julius Ezugwu, said that about 2, 413 out of 2,854 inmates were awaiting trails in the four correctional facilities across the state.
Ezugwu said this at a one-day capacity building workshop for Akwa Ibom State Administration of Criminal Justice Monitoring Committee (ACJMC) in Uyo on Friday.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the event was organised by the Law Hub Development and Advocacy Centre in collaboration with MacArthur Foundation.
Ezugwu, who summed up the total number of inmates in their facilities to 2, 854, added that the custodial centres in the state have been overcrowded.
He appealed for the domestication of Administration of Criminal Justice Law (ACJL) in the state to help decongest custodial Centres.
He said the large number of inmates awaiting trial was responsible for the congestion of the centres, stressing that the facilities were to be a place to reform convicts and not take care of awaiting trial persons.
“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.
“I want to say that the correctional service has been doing its part creditably and I am happy that this workshop on ACJL will lighten the weight of the correctional service,” Ezugwu said.
In her remarks, the Akwa Ibom Chief Judge, Justice Ekaette Obot,  said the domestication of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act by the Criminal Justice Law of the state would have a great impact on the criminal justice system in the state.
Obot, who declared the training open, commended the Centre for organising the workshop to equip committee members with relevant knowledge to function effectively.
She urged participants to take the training serious, adding that the knowledge acquired from the event would help in the administration of criminal justice in the state.
Earlier in his opening remarks, the Executive Director, Law Hub Development and Advocacy Centre, Mr Osita Okoro, said that there was need for the Committee to have a functional secretariat for better operations.
Osita, represented by Mr Joshua Dada, Consultant with the Centre, urged Akwa Ibom government to ensure the establishment of a functional, effective and efficient Secretariat for delivery of overall mandate of the ACJMC.
He said: “it is incumbent on the Akwa Ibom State legislature and criminal justice stakeholders to make provisions for the establishment and operation of the ACJMC and its Secretariat to ensure the standards set out above are adopted and implemented in line with the local context of Akwa Ibom state.”
NAN reports that participants at the training were drawn from the Ministry of Justice, Nigerian Bar Association, Nigeria Correctional Service, Nigeria Police and Non Governmental Organisations across the state.

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