House Committee Decries Prison Congestion in Kwara

crowded-prisonHouse of Representatives committee on Army has decried congestion in Nigerian Prison Service at Oke Kura in Ilorin, Kwara state, saying that the situation requires urgent attention.

The House committee also noted that the atmosphere in the area was no longer conducive for both the prison inmates and members of the community.

Speaking with journalists after inspecting facilities at both Oke Kura and Mandala prisons in Ilorin on Wednesday, the chairman of the committee, Hon. Sunday Marshall Katung, lamented that Oke Kura prison, which was built in 1914 and designed to accommodate 150 inmates now housed over 300 inmates.

“We’ve inspected the prison, and the conditions under which the inmates are kept is somewhat pathetic, but the prison officials are well behaved and they are maintaining the facilities. You can imagine a prison built in 1914 to house about 150 inmates now taking over 300 and their condition is not anything you’ll want to behold with your eyes.”

“We’ve seen that the complaints by residents of blockade of the area by the military men had been resolved and abated naturally. But we will go back to look into the matter and see if the prison can be relocated to a more appropriate site,” he said.

It is recalled that a member of the House of Representatives, representing Ilorin East/Ilorin South federal constituency of the state, Hon. Amuda Kannike, had condemned persistent security challenges in the prison when he raised a motion on floor of the House over complaints by residents of the area.

This is just as residents of the Oke Kura in the Ilorin West local government area of the state asked for relocation of the federal prison located in the heart of Ilorin metropolis over complaints of health hazard, harassment and security challenges posed by the prison yard.

The people, who carried placard during the visit of members of House committee on Army came on oversight functions to prisons in the state capital on Wednesday, said that the prison, built in 1914, had constituted discomfort and bad influence to residents of the area.

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Author: PRAWA

PRAWA is a Non-governmental organization aimed at promoting Security, Justice and Development in Africa. It was established in 1994.