Anambra Assembly expresses concern over correctional centres’ congestion

fdd anambra state house of assembly

The Anambra State House of Assembly on Friday expressed concern over the congestion in Onitsha, Awka, and Ekwulobia correctional centres due to the lack of accelerated hearing of cases involving inmates awaiting trial.

This is contained in a motion moved under Matters of Urgent Public Importance, by Fredrick Ezenwa, representing Onitsha South Constituency I, at plenary.

Ezenwa added that the Onitsha Correctional Centre, which was built to accommodate 600 inmates, is holding a total of 1,017 inmates as of July 9, with a total number of 909 inmates awaiting trial.

He said, “It is disheartening to note that some of the inmates on awaiting trial have spent years in the facility without being tried.

“The future of the inmates on awaiting trial is being toyed with. The overcrowded nature of the facilities keeps the inmates vulnerable to contagious diseases.

“If an accelerated hearing is effectively organised for the inmates, the facilities will be grossly decongested. The innocent shall be set free while the guilty shall be convicted,” he said.

In his views, Mr Douglas Egbuna, representing Onitsha North Constituency I, said it was constitutionally wrong to keep an accused in prison without hearing his/her case.

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