Owerri, April 29, 2019 An Imo based Lawyer, Mrs Blessing Iweajunwa has attributed high rate of prison congestion in Imo to inability of governments to sponsor pro-bono lawyers to handle cases of some inmates.
Iweajunwa told the News Agency of Nigeria on Monday shortly after visiting Okigwe prison in Imo, said there was urgent need to decongest Nigerian prisons.
According to her, most inmates are languishing in prison because they do not have any legal representation.
“When I visited the prison, I noticed that some of the inmates only need a lawyer to file bail application for them, but inability of having a legal representation has kept them there.
“My law firm on our own, has been trying to do some pro-bono cases but there is need for the Federal Government and state governments to seriously come into the matter and sponsor cases regularly to decongest the prison,” she said.
She also appealed to Chief Judges of various states to regularly visit prisons and perform their statutory obligation of freeing inmates whose cases were pardonable.
The legal practitioner also urged lawyers to wake up to the challenge by ensuring that they contributed in ensuring a well decongested prison.
“We were told that Imo prison’s capacity is 500 inmates but as at today’s record, we have over 3,000 inmates in the prison and we will not continue to watch the ugly situation,” she said.