The Nigerian Correctional Service, Rivers State command said it would partner with relevant agencies of government to decongest its custodial centres in Rivers State, saying the facilities now house 4, 403 inmates.
Of the total number across the four custodial centres of the Nigerian Correctional Service in the state, namely Port Harcourt, Degema, Ahoada and Elele, 442 including females are on death row.
The Controller of Corrections in Charge of Rivers State Command, Felix Lawrence, disclosed this while speaking to newsmen in Port Harcourt shortly after the send-forth and reception ceremony for the outgone State Controller and the new Controller in the state.
Lawrence said the command would partner with the Rivers State Judiciary and the police as part of measures to decongest the custodial centres in the state.
“Rivers State Command comprises Port Harcourt maximum security correctional centre, Degema medium-security correctional centre, Ahoada custodial centre and Elele custodial centre.
“As of this morning, we have a total of 4,403 inmates. For death row, we have 427 male inmates and 15 female inmates on,” he said.
Lawrence who was deployed to Rivers from Edo State said he would replicate a jail decongestion committee as it was done in his previous command.
He explained, “We will have a kind of rapport with the Chief Judge of Rivers State so that there will be constant jail delivery to ensure that inmates get justice as soon as possible.
“Like what we had in Edo State, we had a decongestion committee, composed of the Attorney General and Chief Justice of the state, Commissioner of Police and Comptroller of Corrections.
“We had a joint effort where magistrates were drafted to the custodial centres regularly to have a kind of checks and dispense justice.
“I intend to replicate the same here, and when I see the Attorney General and Chief Justice of the state, I intend to discuss this idea with him and I am confident it will work well.”
Earlier, the outgone Controller, Alex Oditah, who is now the Assistant Controller General of Corrections, Restorative Justice at the Headquarters, Abuja, said he had no challenge during his stay in Rivers State.
Oditah also said the numbers of inmates in correctional centres across the country were on a decrease due to the proactive efforts of the Controller General, Haliru Nababa.