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Reps Committee decries congestion at Ilorin Prison



The  House of Representatives committee on Army yesterday  decried the congestion in the federal prison , Oke Kura in Ilorin, Kwara state, saying that the situation requires urgent attention.

The House committee also noted that the atmosphere in the area was no longer conducive for both the prison inmates and members of the community.

The chairman of the committee, Hon. Sunday  Marshall Katung  briefed newsmen after inspecting facilities at both Oke Kura and Mandala prisons in Ilorin .

Katung and others members of the committee’s visit to  Ilorin followed a motion recently moved on the floor of the House by member, representing Ilorin East/South constituency,  Dr Abubakar Kannike on the incessant face off between members of  Okekura community and military men posted there for surveillance.

The committee’s chairman lamented that Oke Kura prison, which was built in 1914 and designed to accommodate 150 inmates now housed over 300 inmates.

“We’ve inspected the prison and the conditions under which the inmates are kept is somewhat pathetic, but the prison officials are well behaved and they are maintaining the facilities. You can imagine a prison built in 1914 to house about 150 inmates now taking over 300 and their condition is not anything you’ll want to behold with your eyes.

“We’ve seen that the complaints by residents of blockade of the area by the military men had been resolved and abated naturally. But we will go back to look into the matter and see if the prison can be relocated to a more appropriate site”, he said.

He also allayed fears of residents of the area on allegation of harassment levelled against military men drafted to the prison to increase surveillance, saying that the military men had been withdrawn.

Katung,  Kannike, the Kwara state  commissioner for information,  Mahmud Ajeigbe and other members of the House committee on Army later held a closed door meeting with all heads of security agencies in the state.

However, residents of  Oke Kura  area insisted on the relocation of the  prison from the area.

They complained that the facility poses serious health hazard to them as well as harassment and security challenges .

Some of the residents who gathered around the prison’s  entrance said that the facility built in 1914, had constituted discomfort  to  them.

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