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By: Abuokwen Abuokwen

Cross River State Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Barr. Tanko Ashang has  posited that cases of inmate at the Afokang Correctional Centre would be reviewed.

He said the review of the cases became necessary due to the over growing inmate population of those awaiting trail and those convicted

Barr. Tanko said this during a facility tour of the Correctional Centre, in company of the Permanent Secretary and Solicitor General of the State, Mr. Peter Bassey Anthigha, the Director of Public Persecution (DPP), Barr. Gregory Okem and the Special Assistant to the Attorney General, Mrs. Endurance Norbert Asim-Ita.

He said it was not enough for inmates to care for freedom but that the lessons learnt during their period of incarcerations must be ploughed into their daily lives by educating the ignorant young ones who may be toying with their freedom, about the Serenity of the Law.
The Attorney-General noted that the purpose of the visit was to enable him have a first-hand knowledge of the Centre to see how the inmates were fairing and also know about the challenges they were facing so that soon-to-be-in-place Amnesty Committee meet, he would have a meaningful input to contribute.

He commended the State Comptroller for his good work which has reflected in the neatness of the Centre and orderly behaviour of inmates.

He also urged the inmates to remain calm and show good behaviour as that would help the Amnesty Committee in their work.

Earlier, the Comptroller of the Correctional Centre, Mr. Ima-Ikop Jimmy Ndaekong, in his address said the Nigerian Correctional Centre ACT, 2019 repealed the Nigerian Prison ACT, 2014.

He added that Section 12, Subsection 4 (a-e) states that the State Comptroller shall within one week notify the Chief Judge of the State, Attorney-General of the State, the prerogative of Mercy Committee and the Criminal Justices and any other relevant body of the State where the Custodian Centre has exceeding inmate population.

The Comptroller noted that the command has six (6) custodian centres across the State, pointing out that the inmate’s population has exceeded it capacity.

He explained that apart from the Custodian Centre exceeding its capacity, other challenges faced by the Centre include lack of vehicles to convey inmates to court and ambulances for urgent medical services.

The Comptroller also said Section 14 of the said ACT allows the inmates the right to seek for high education qualification up to Tertiary Level. To that end, the Centre trains inmates on carpentry, tailoring, barbing and hair saloon, soap making etc.

Other were; electrical/electronic maintenance, while those seeking higher educational qualification could do through National Open University of Nigeria.

He appealed to the government of Cross River and the people of the State to donate training tools to the Centre.

Amawu Cletus Albert Amawu

I'm a Journalist, Host of The Verdict, your voice of conscience on FAD FM 93.1, Calabar, an Administrator, Activist and Social Change Agent.

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