Osinbajo Raises Serious Alarm Over Condition Of Port-Harcourt Prison. Vice-President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo has raised alarm over the condition of the Port-Harcourt Prison in Rivers state.
He lamented that the facility originally designed to conveniently take 800 prisoners, currently has inmates of almost 5000.
Osinbajo said this in a public presentation of three volumes of prison survey report (PSR) put together by the Nigerian Prison Service (NPS) and the Prisoners Rehabilitation and Welfare Action (PRAWA).
The VP, represented at the occasion by the Minister of Interior, Lt. Gen. Abdulrahman Bello Dambazau (rtd), said that the situation calls for concern.
He regretted that Nigeria Prisons were neglected by successive governments.
Osinbajo noted that some 3700 inmates that have been in the Porth-Harcourt prison for over five years were still awaiting trial.
In his remarks, Dambazau disclosed that President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the construction of 3000 capacity prison in each of the six geopolitical zones.
The minister added that the administration has also procured vehicles to convey inmates from prisons to courts across the country.
He, however, appealed to state governments to give full support to the federal government in the Administration of the Prison Act.
The Minister further appealed to courts to avoid incessant adjournment of criminal cases so as to get prisons decongested in due course.
He said: “I was in Port-Harcourt and I used my stay there to visit Port-Harcourt Prison built in 1918 by our colonial master.
“What I saw was gory because the prison has no rooms but just serving as warehouse for the over 5000 inmates accommodated in it instead of 800 inmates designed as capacity.
“From my finding, they say no room for prisoners and any human being that goes there would come back as animal.
“My finding also reveals that prisons have been neglected over the years by the successive administration at the expense of the inmates.
“It is however a thing of joy that President Muhammadu Buhari has shown keen interest in prison reforms and had carried out tremendous progress on prison rehabilitation even though funds are not there.”