The Osun State Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr Wole Jimi-Bada, has lamented congestion in the two custodial centres in the state and promised that the government would act fast to decongest the facilities.
Jimi-Bada, who had visited the two facilities in Ilesa and Ile-Ife, Osun State, and, during the visits, interacted with the inmates, lamented the high number of awaiting trial inmates.
A statement obtained in Osogbo on Saturday signed by Debo Oladinni, an aide to the Attorney General, said after Jimi-Bada’s interaction with one of the inmates, he paid a sum of N150,000, the option of fine given to the teenage scrap scavenger, sentenced to three years imprisonment, after being convicted for stealing iron rods.
It further read, “Over 150 inmates were interviewed at Correctional Centres by the Attorney-General and his seasoned legal team.
“Each inmate’s case record was carefully and painstakingly scrutinised by the Attorney-General, with a litany of questions posed to the awaiting trial inmates, who had committed minor offences to ascertain their respective crimes and took note of necessary steps to be taken to expedite action on their cases.
“The Attorney-General assured the Controller that necessary measures will be put in place to stem the ugly tide of overcrowded correctional centres.”
Speaking while receiving the Attorney General and his team at the Ilesha and Ile-Ife Custodial Centres, the Controller-in-charge, Nigerian Correctional Service Osun State Command, Mr Tolu Ogunsakin, commended Jimi-Bada for visiting the facilities to interact with the inmates, who had committed minor offences.
Ogunsakin also commended the state government for the bold attempt to address the recurring issue of overcrowded correctional centres filled with more inmates awaiting trial than actual convicts.
The Ilesa Custodial Centre, designated to accommodate 585 inmates, was said to have 766 inmates, with 655 awaiting trial and 111 convicts. In contrast, the Ile-Ife facility is said to be designated for 160 inmates, but currently, with 346 inmates, 302 of them on awaiting trial list, and only 44 convicts.
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