From Yahaya Audu in Gombe
About 15 inmates are awaiting death by hanging in Gombe Prison.
The inmates are made up of 14 males, one female and four prisoners serving life jail terms in Gombe State main prison, North-east Nigeria.
The State Deputy Comptroller of Prison, Muhammad Abba, made the disclosure in Gombe yesterday when the Gombe State Governor, Ibrahim Hassan Dankwambo, visited the prison as part of the ceremony marking the state’s 20th anniversary celebrations.
He said that the prison was established in 1919 with the capacity for 379 inmates but is presently overstretched with 1076 inmates.
The comptroller further disclosed that 113 armed robbery suspects, 119 culpable homicide suspects as well as 44 rapists awaiting trial in the facility.
Also speaking, Comptroller General of Prison, Ja’afaru Ahmed, represented by the state Comptroller Mr. Ahmed Adamu, lauded the cordial relationship between the state government and prison service, expressing gratitude over the decision of the state government to involve the prison inmates in the anniversary celebration.
He commended the Dankwambo administration for uplifting the standard of the prison which was built in 1919.
The CGP listed some of the interventions by the incumbent administration in Gombe state to include among others building a one-storey block comprising five cells, provision of a Toyota Hilux van as well as an 18-seater bus for conveying prisoners to courts across the state capital, erecting two security towers, construction of a block of four cells for VIPs and provision of drugs, beddings.
He, however, urged the state government to provide free medical service to inmates attending public hospitals, train the inmates who he said are mostly youths, through skills acquisition to facilitate their integration back into society, pleading with the governor to incorporate the inmates into the various skills acquisition programmes.
The CGP announced that the National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN), has approved a study center for inmates in the state with the institution waiving both the registration and tuition fees for prospective students.
On his part, Governor Ibrahim Hassan Dankwambo while lamenting the condition of the facility, appealed to the inmates to take advantage of the opportunity to improve on their education with a view to turning a new leaf.
He directed his commissioners to within one week, intervene with a view to alleviating the plight of the prisoners regarding the provision of drinking water, light, bathing soaps among other essentials.
Governor Dankwambo before leaving the facility donated one cow, food items as well as blankets, clothing and germicides, promising that based on the prerogative of mercy, his administration will release some inmates come October 1.