By Chidi Nkwopara
OWERRI—The Owerri Branch of Nigerian Bar Association, NBA, has decried the level of congestion in federal prisons in the state.
The NBA chairman, Mr. Lawrence Nwakaeti, made the lamentation in an address he read at the Special Assizes marking the opening of the 2017/2018 new legal year of the Imo State Judiciary.
“Our prisons are over congested with a facility meant to accommodate less than 600 inmates, but currently housing over 2,400 inmates, mostly, awaiting trial”, he said.
While calling for quick passage of the Administration of Criminal Justice Law, ACJL, in Imo State, to take care of the state’s unique and peculiar needs, Nwakaeti also promised that a Law Reform Advocacy Committee of the Bar will assist in driving the de-congestion.
He called for introduction of caution, community labour and discharge options in our sentencing, stressing that a person convicted of a lesser offence, especially first timers, may be sentenced to clean the court premises for days, weeks or months.”