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The 100-bed building will serve as a centralised COVID-19 isolation centre for new inmates admitted in the Nigerian Correctional Service (NCS), Akwa Ibom State Command.
The State spokesman of the NCS, ASC Ogbajie Ogbajie, said the Controller General of Corrections, Ja’afaru Ahmed thanked the Governor for taking such a “bold step in boosting the Criminal Justice System in the State”.
“It shows that His Excellency is a Governor for the less privileged in the Society,” ASC Ogbajie said in a press release sent to FIRST REPORTS.
The isolation centre – located at the Ikot Ekpene Custodial Centre – was recently approved by Governor Emmanuel to help in the COVID-19 response of a State that thas recorded 176 infections including three associated deaths.
At the end of April, President Muhammadu Buhari had pleaded that all “deserving” inmates across the country should be freed.
Days after, Governor Emmanuel pardoned dozens of inmates in the state in order to reduce crowding at the correctional facilities across Akwa Ibom because of the coronavirus outbreak.
Many inmates regained their freedom
The Governor disclosed that the freed inmates were those who had spent years in the Correctional Centres and had developed serious health issues.
Also considered were inmates on grounds of age while those with minor offense were equally considered.
Meanwhile, the new 100-bed building for inmates was inspected over the weekend by the Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice Akwa Ibom State, Uwemedimo Nwoko, in the company of the Controller of Corrections, Alex Oditah and Officer-in-charge of Ikot Ekpene Custodial Centre, Deputy Controller of Corrections, Chukwuemeka Patrick.
Akwa Ibom already has a 300-bed infectious disease treatment centre in Uruan, where, among other things, COVID-19 testing is being carried out.
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