Controller General of the Nigeria Prisons Service, NPS, Dr. Peter Ekpendu has made a shocking revelation that prisons authorities have shut down some prisons because of the fear of external attacks by members of Boko Haram terror group. The CG also disclosed that 1,639 prison inmates who have been condemned to death are awaiting execution.
The prisons boss, who disclosed this yesterday while briefing the Minister of Interior, Lt. Gen. Abdulrahman Dambazau, on the state of Nigerian prisons, said the condemned convicts were being held across the various prison formations in the country.
Dambazau was at NPS headquarters, airport road, Abuja and was told that out of the 55,033 prison inmates in prisons across the country, 19,374 have been convicted while 45,659 are awaiting trials.
Dr. Ekpendu disclosed further that the NPS has only 18 Black Maria trucks used in transporting awaiting trial inmates to court, stressing that the vehicles are grossly inadequate to meet the transport needs of the service which had to transport the awaiting trial inmates to court at regular intervals.
He said, “The prisons formations are presently holding 55,033 out of which 1,639 were condemned convicts awaiting execution. We have 18 Black Marias, 12 non-functional trucks, 16 functional and four non-functional ambulances which are grossly inadequate to meet our transportation needs. The smallest prisons should have at least an operational vehicle, ambulance and escort vehicles.”
The CG pleaded for increased funding for the prisons service, revealing that the service is having outstanding bills to settle with contractors who have threatened to stop supplying food and gas to prison formations.
Meanwhile, the minister, who acknowledged the challenges being faced by the service, advised the management and personnel to make judicious use of budgetary allocations, cautioning the NPS against wastage, as the Federal Government took accountability and financial prudence seriously.
General Dambazau, who expressed concern over congestion in prisons, therefore promised that the government of President Muhammadu Buhari would ensure the building of modern prisons and completion of abandoned projects.
He said, “Prison congestion is capable of hardening an inmate, the impact of the environment on the prison population is crucial, so it is necessary to create a conducive environment for them, denial of freedom is punishment enough.”

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