There are 170 Imo indigenes awaiting the hangman’s rope for years.
This revelation came to the fore when the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the federation, Mr. Abubakar Malami visited the Imo State Governor at Government House, Owerri.
Malami heads the Presidential Committee on Prison decongestion.
According to a statement by Sam Onwuemedo, Chief Press Secretary to Imo State Governor, Okorocha said he would carefully look at the cases of those concerned and know whether signing for their death would serve any good purpose or otherwise, considering the fact that Imo people are known for forgiveness.
He revealed that the Imo State government is building a new prison.
“The current Prison is over populated and no more qualified to be called a prison. It places the state at risk with jail break. And we decided to build a new prison. Imo is low in crime. Our environment is clean and low crime rate is always found in clean environment” he said
The Governor continued “we have taken up the battle against illicit drugs and the awareness is high. We must discourage these practices that encourage crimes. Imo State government would partner with the committee to achieve the purpose for which the President set it up. Imprisonment should be a corrective measure and not perpetual condemnation”.
In his speech, In his speech, the Attorney-General of the federation and Minister for Justice, Mr. Abubakar said the purpose of their visit was to review the cases of inmates in the prisons, and know those with minor offences and penalties like payment of fines, disclosing that the governor has paid a huge sum for inmates that have fines to pay to regain their freedom.
Abubakar explained that the committee started at the Federal Capital territory and got 128 inmates released, went to Kaduna and got 500 inmates freed and then to Kano where 800 inmates were also released, adding that they have come to Imo for the same purpose, revealing too that Imo records the least inmates as result of the State’s low rate of crime.
His words “Another area of concern is the Awaiting trial inmates. About 70 percent of the prison inmates are awaiting trials. Governments at all levels should work in synergy. And the Imo governor has begun to demonstrate such political WILL by paying the fines of the inmates in prison unable to pay such fines, and building prison. We are going to review all the cases to properly situate the inmates”.