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Nsukka Cleric urges judges to decongest prisons

By The Citizen
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Bishop Aloysius Agbo of Nsukka Anglican Diocese has urged the judiciary to be more dedicated to its duty to decongest the country's prisons.

Agbo made the appeal in Nsukka, Enugu State on Thursday while presenting carpentry tools worth N300,000 the Nsukka Prisons to re-equip its carpentry workshop.

The bishop said that with more commitment from the judiciary, the many cases of awaiting trial could be dispensed with to decongest the prisons across the country.

'It is unfortunate that prisons all over the country are crowded because of the inability of judiciary to accelerate trials that will dispose many pending cases.

'It is regrettable that some inmates have stayed more than the stipulated years for their punishment in detention.

'Most of them languishing in jails are innocent but were hauled into detention by power-drunk and wicked persons,'' he said.

The bishop urged the Federal Government to employ more judges to accelerate the dispensation of justice in the country.

'If more judges are employed, it will help to accelerate hearing of cases of those awaiting trial. I am pleading with the government to employ more judges to help in treating the cases in the courts,' he said.

The bishop also urged the government to equip the security agencies properly, saying that the situation where criminals carried more sophisticated weapons than security agents was responsible for the increase in crime in the country.

'To stop the present security challenges, our security men should be well equipped to enable them to protect the lives and property in the country,'' he said.

Agbo said the donation was to ensure that the inmates acquired skills useful to them and the society.

'The church deems it necessary to add value to their lives while serving as well as make them useful citizens when they are released. We appeal to everybody to help to make our prisons a reformatory rather than a dumping ground.

'The church is appealing to prison staff to make judicious use of these tools and workshop so as to achieve its target, 'he said.

The tools included one spraying machine, 18 G-man saw, 10 hammers, 5 sets of yellow chisels, 10 pinches pincers and one mortising machine.

The head of the prisons, Mr Ignatus Okwasha, said the church had been supportive to the prison in various ways.

'I am not surprised at what the church has donetoday because it has been assisting the prison in many ways.

'I promise that the tools will be put to appropriate use to help the inmates acquire skills that will assist them when they leave here'' he said