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Legislator Urges Government To Address Overcrowding In Correctional Centers

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Hon. Sampson Idiong, the legislator representing Oruk Anam State Constituency in the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly has called for immediate intervention on severe overcrowding in correctional centers in Akwa Ibom State.

During plenary, Idiong presented a motion titled “Urgent Need to Intervene in Facilities of Correctional Centers in Akwa Ibom State.”

The Deputy Chief Whip of the 8th Assembly highlighted the alarming situation in the state’s correctional facilities, emphasizing that the severe overcrowding not only strains government resources but also accelerates the deterioration of these centers. He revealed that data shows federal offenders constitute less than ten percent of inmates, while over 90 percent are state offenders.

Hon. Idiong presented disturbing statistics, revealing that the Uyo prison, originally designed to accommodate 600 inmates, now houses over 1,500, while the Ikot Ekpene Centre, designed for 800 inmates, is currently accommodating twice its capacity. He also expressed concerns about the lack of security lights around the already weak perimeter fence of the overcrowded Uyo facility.

The legislator warned that relying solely on the Federal Government for action, especially with the onset of the rainy season, could have disastrous consequences. He cautioned that if a breach occurs and inmates escape, the repercussions would primarily affect the residents of Akwa Ibom State. Hon. Idiong reminded the House of a similar incident on April 24 of the previous year, when over 100 inmates escaped from Sulejah prison following a heavy downpour that compromised the facility, including its perimeter fence.

In response to the motion, Speaker Hon. Udeme Otong directed the House Committee on Public Utilities and the Committee on Judiciary, Justice, Human Rights, and Public Petitions to collaborate with the Judiciary Service Commission and report back to the House within two weeks.

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