The Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly ( AKHA) has moved to intervene on the congestion of Correctional Centres in the State.

This followed a Motion sponsored by the Deputy Chief Whip of the Assembly who also double as the member for Oruk Anam State Constituency, Prince. Sampson Idiong, on the floor of the Assembly, at Plenary on Thursday.

In his Motion, Hon. Idiong, said that over congestion of the Correctional facilities, apart from leading to huge revenue drain on the government, has also contributed to the rapid dilapidation of the facilities.

“Data system reveals that in the four Correctional Centers in Akwa Ibom State, federal offenders comprise less than ten percent of the correctional system inmates, leaving over 90 percent to state offenders.”

“An independent survey reveals that while the Uyo prison which was originally built to accommodate 600 inmates now has over 1,500 inmates, Ikot Ekpene Centre designed to accommodate 800 inmates is currently accommodating twice its capacity”, he said.

The Deputy Chief Whip, further disclosed that the overcrowded Correctional facility in Uyo does not have security light around the already weak perimeter fence.

“If the State Government continues to wait on the Federal Government, as the rains begin to come, the consequences may be disastrous. If casualty occurs and inmates which are predominantly Akwa Ibomites escape, it is the indigenes and residents of the state, not the federal government that would suffer the consequences”, he informed the House.
He recalled with dismay that on Wednesday, April, 24 last year over 100 inmates escaped from Sulejah prison after a heavy down pour which destroyed part of the facility including perimeter fence.

Hon.Idiong, pleaded with the leadership and members to see the need to direct the House Committee on Security as an oversight function, to embark on a facility tour to the four Correctional Centres in Akwa Ibom State.
Subsequently, the Speaker, Rt. Hon. (Elder) Udeme Otong, directed the House Committee on Public Utilities
and the Committee on Judiciary, Justice, Human Rights and Public Petitions, to interface with the Judiciary Service Commission and report back to the House in two weeks.

The House also received a Motion on the Need to Address Critical Challenges Facing Private and Public Healthcare Delivery in Akwa Ibom State, sponsored by Hon. (Mrs) Selinah Ukpatu (Ikot Abasi/Eastern Obolo) which was forwarded to the House Committee on Education.

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