By Prince Abraham Chukwuebuka
The house member representing the good people of Onitsha South 1 constituency Hon. Fredrick Chigozie Ezenwa last week moved a motion for decongestion of prisons in Anambra.
The lawmaker while moving the motion called on the executive governor of Anambra state Prof Chukwuma Soludo CFR to direct the commissioner for Justice and attorney general of Anambra state to decongest Onitsha, Awka and Ekwulobia correctional centres through speedy prosecution of the inmates awaiting trial.
Having visited Onitsha, Awka and Ekwulobia Correctional Centres for charity purpose, Hon. Ezenwa was disheartened at the densed population of our brothers and sisters who are languishing at these Correctional Centres in Anambra State. He discovered that a centre meant for a maximum capacity of 600 inmates is housing 1,017 inmates, thus, the urgent need for the speedy consideration of the motion.
He emphasized on the need to decongest these correctional facilities, pointing at the health hazards in form of increased risk of illness and disease outbreaks facing the inmates.
He as well highlighted on human rights and fair trial, explaining that detention of individuals without trial for extended periods violates their fundamental human rights and undermines the principle of presumption of innocence. Many prisoners awaiting trial spend years behind bars, often in deplorable conditions, without access to proper legal representation. To him, reducing the number of prisoners awaiting trial will ensure that individuals can receive a fair and timely trial, in line with the principles of justice.
The legislator further stipulated judicial efficiency as one of the major reasons to decongest the correctional facilities in Anambra State, expatiating that large number of prisoners awaiting trial puts a strain on the judicial system, contributing to case backlogs and delays in the administration of justice. In his words,” overburdened courts struggle to handle the volume of cases, will always result in prolonged pretrial detention. Therefore, reducing the number of prisoners awaiting trial would help alleviate this burden, allowing the judicial system to function more efficiently and effectively.
Sequel to his convincing explanations, Hon. Ezenwa gained massive support from his colleagues.
Speaking further for the good people of Onitsha South I Constituency, Hon. Ezenwa however supported the motion calling on the Governor Soludo to quickly provide all the necessary requirements needed for the appointment of ten High Court Judges approved for Anambra State by the National Judicial Council for improved and quick justice delivery, as sponsored by Hon.Ejike Okechukwu.
He likewise joined his voice in felicitating the number one citizen of Anambra State, Prof. Chukwuma Charles Soludo on his 62nd birthday.