The Honourable Commissioner for Happiness and Purpose Fulfillment, Mrs. Ogechi Ololo has paid a courtesy visit to the Controller of Prisons, Imo State Command, CP Chris Chuks Okoye.

The Commissioner made the visit on Tuesday, February 13, 2018. She was accompanied by the Permanent Secretary, E.O Asonye-Igwe, Director of Accounts, Lolo Angela Ohiri and other staff of her Ministry.

Explaining the reason for the visit, Ololo said it was a response to the number of requests from some relatives of convicted individuals who had beckoned on the Ministry for help.

“I am here because some families have cried and asked us for help. And I deem it necessary that there is need for me to establish this relationship with you, Mr. Controller. We have heard that there are some inmates here, probably not because they committed any crime, but because they needed to bail themselves out. We want to see how our Ministry can partner with you and how we can be of help to release them from the prison, she noted.”

Ololo also harped on the need for quality education for the juveniles among the inmates.
The Commissioner; “We also want to partner with you to ensure that our own juveniles that are here are properly educated irrespective of the crimes they committed. We believe that they could be given the opportunity to study even within the prison. Because, these juveniles will grow up to become adults. If not properly educated, they would constitute nuisance to the society when finally released.”

Intimating the CP on the structure of her Ministry, the Commissioner said, “We have job bank for Imo youths. All they needed is to come and register with us. We train them in areas they needed to be trained and then link them to employers. I’m appealing that you inform us during recruitment. We also have a Call Center just as you have Control room in your system. Imolites, anywhere could call us and tell us what problem they are going through or what is happening in their community and reported issues will be given express attention.”

Responding, CP Okoye expressed delight over the Commissioner’s visit and hinted that the Ministry was partly created because of the prisons in the state. He regretted that the prison which was constructed to accommodate only 548 inmates, now holds 2,252 inmates, adding that out of the over 2000 inmates, only 200 are convicted, while others are on awaiting trial. He commended Governor Okorocha for building new prison for them because, according to him, the current prison is over crowded.

Highpoint of the visit was a stroll to the prison yard where a female inmate, Cynthia Okonkwo told the Commissioner that her only crime was that, her boyfriend used her phone for a communication that resulted into a fight and she had been in the prison for over four months with no help in sight.

Another female prisoner, Miss Njiribeako – a 4th year Medical student of Imo State University narrated that her brother witnessed a fight that resulted to the death of another. She was imprisoned alongside her mother and two brothers and they had been shuttling from prison to court in search of freedom.




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