The Comptroller of Prisons in Benue State, Mr. Peter Pevigo, yesterday disclosed that about 1,076 prisoners who are currently languishing in the cell at the Makurdi Medium and Security Prison are on awaiting trial list.
Pevigo, who disclosed this when he led other officials of the prison on a familiarisation visit to the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Michael Gusa, said 299 other inmates are those convicted for various crimes while a total of 1,375 prisoners were in the cell.
While describing the condition of the inmates as pathetic, the prison boss lamented the congestion of the prison, as according to him, a room that is supposed to accommodate 36 inmates now houses 121, saying with the condition, the inmates were prone to attack by epidemics especially as the raining season is gradually giving way.
He implored the state Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice to ensure the inmates receive the prerogative of mercy by the government as many of them have been reformed through the efforts of religious various religions and trained to be useful by different craftsmen and further promised to reposition the prison to do more in the area of training and reforming of inmates and sued for assistance from the government in terms of tools.
In his response, Gusa, assured the prison boss of government’s plan to construct a spacious block of cell at the state prison office in Makurdi to ease the problem of congestion being experienced by inmates.
He added that a committee headed by the state Deputy Governor, Mr. Benson Abounu, for the construction of the cell block has since been put in place.
On the state pardon to be granted inmates, Gusa said the list was being scrutinised and will soon be sent to the governor for approval and onward implementation.