The Benue Command of the Nigeria Prison Service, on Wednesday appealed to the Federal Government for operational vehicles to enhance its effectiveness in conveying inmates to courts.
The State Comptroller of Prisons, Mr Peter Pevigo said this in Makurdi that the command has no single official vehicle for the movement of inmates.
Command now uses all kinds of buses, including ambulances to move inmates to courts.
Pevigo explained that the command had no option but to improvise, by exploring alternative means of conveying inmates to court to avoid any breakdown of law and order in the prisons.
“We do not have any Black Maria, the official car for the movement of inmates from one place to the other, so we have to improvise alternative means of solving the problem.
“This is a very sensitive issue, because if we fail to take inmates to court at the appropriate time, they may cause havoc or cause any unlawful thing within prisons yards.
“At the moment, we have 858 inmates out of which only 86 are convicts.
“It is incumbent on us to take 772 inmates awaiting trial to court as at when due, that is why we are using our discretion to solve the issue.” he said.
The comptroller explained that the command had officially communicated to relevant authorities about their condition and expressed the hope that the situation would be addressed soon.
He commended prison warders under the command for their hard work and dedication to duty, and ensuring peaceful coexistence at all times.
Reacting to allegations of misappropriation of inmates’ food, Pevigo said there had been no such complain in the state, but warned that anyone caught would be dealt with severely.
He explained that inmates have representatives in the store where their food are weighed and shared.
“You can’t touch inmates’ food and have peaceful prison yard, they would react because food is their right.”