By Vincent Ujumadu, Awka
THIRTY prisoners condemned to death in the four prisons in Anambra State are waiting for the hangman, the state comptroller of Nigeria Prisons Service, NPS, in the state, Mr. Emmanuel Nwakaeze, has said.
The 30 prisoners were those condemned within the last two years.
He also said that fewer than 1,574 inmates or 78 percent of the total of 1761 in the four prisons were awaiting trial,
Nwakaeze, who gave the figures yesterday in an interview, said 48 of those awaiting trial were females.
The breakdown showed that Awka Prison has 374 inmates; Onitsha Prison has 887, Nnewi Prison has 282; and the Aguata Prison has 218.
According to the Comptroller, 65 percent of the inmates were citizens of Anambra State, adding that those who had paid the fine options of their punishment or served their jail terms had been released by the state governor, Chief Willie Obiano and the state Chief Judge, Justice Peter Umeadi between December 2017 and March, 2018.
He denied the allegations that prison officials were extorting money before taking inmates to court, arguing that it was absolutely impossible for such story to be true.
“No prison official will ever extort money from prisoners for any reasons whatsoever, under my watch”, he said.
He described prison congestion as the major challenge facing the command , he added, it creates room for unhealthy environment that could lead to outbreak of communicable diseases, including cholera, tuberculosis and other related killer diseases.