To address congestion at Agodi prison, Ibadan, a new maximum security prison is set to be opened at Olomi area of Ibadan, Oyo state capital.
Assistant Comptroller General (ACG) in charge of Zone F, Ibadan, Mr Kasali Yusuf, made this disclosure while decorating four newly elevated comptroller of prisons: Mojeed Olaniran, Babatunde Alonge, Joseph Ojo and Fatimikun Opeyemi, in Ibadan, on Thursday.
Speaking against the backdrop of the fact that no fewer than 1,226 inmates presently occupy the Agodi Prisons, Ibadan, which is designed to accommodate 390 inmates, Yusuf said the Ibadan maximum prison, that was set for commissioning, was one of many prisons being built across the country.
He attributed unabated congestion of prisons in the country to the high number of persons awaiting trial and occupied prison facilities.
Yusuf, however, noted that the effective implementation of the Administration of criminal justice law 2015, which provided other alternatives to imprisonment like alternative dispute resolution, will help decongest prisons.
“Prison congestion is congestion of awaiting trial in our facilities and this as a result of the criminal justice system. But, fortunately for us, with the passage of the administration of criminal justice law 2015, all sorts of the alternative to imprisonment and ways to decongest the prisons are embedded in that law which we have started implementing.
“Infrastructure is being upgraded; new prisons are being built; old ones are being upgraded to accommodate more staff. Very soon, we will open maximum security prison at Olomi area in Ibadan. When that is done, the congestion issue in Oyo state command of the Nigerian Prison Service will have been a thing of the past. The project is more or less completed,” Yusuf said.
Addressing the newly decorated comptrollers, Yusuf warned them against uttering non-factual statements about the prison service.
In the same vein, he urged them to be guided in their disposition, comportment and conduct, adding that with their new position, they were not expected to be found wanting in any form.
One of the new comptrollers, Olaniran called for assistance from members of the society and increased funding by the government to improve the effectiveness of the nation’s prison service.
While noting that the prison served as the pool for all arrests made by all security agencies, Olaniran urged government and individuals to give more attentions to the provision of logistics for the prison service to be more efficient in its operations.