Abioye Olarewaju, Ilorin
The Comptroller of Prison, Mr. Adebiyi Ayokanmbi, has said that a total of 402 inmates were awaiting trials in the four prisons across the state. Ayokanmbi who said this on Sunday in Ilorin during an interview with our Correspondent, gave the total number of inmates in the state as 748.
He said out of these figure, 268 inmates were awaiting trial in Ilorin prison, 117 in Mandalla, 14 in Omu Aran while 3 inmates were awaiting trial in Lafiaji prison. The Controller said Ilorin Prison established in 1914 has been heavily congested.
He said the prison designed for 121 inmates now has 364 males and four females while Mandalla, a medium prison established seven years ago has capacity for 160 but now accommodates 186 inmates. Ayokanmbi said Omu Aran, also a medium prison established six years ago has 56 inmates while Lafiaji, a farm centre has 49 inmates. The Comptroller said each inmate was being fed with N200 per day, adding that federal government has just recently increased the money to N300 per day.
He lamented that fund was an impediment to smooth running of the prisons in the country, particularly in the state. Ayokanmbi added that because of the lack of fund, skills acquisition centres like carpentry and tailoring workshops where inmates were trained on skills acquisition were not functioning.
This he said has handicapped the prisons in carrying out its mandate as reformation and rehabilitation centres. He also lamented that there were not enough professionally qualified staff to train the inmates in skill acquisition in the prisons under his command. The Comptroller therefore suggested that Comptrollers in charge of state commands should be allowed to recruit junior officers as was the case until 2010.