The Gombe State Command of the Nigeria Prisons Service has said that 616 out of 1,122 inmates currently being held at the main Gombe prison are awaiting trial.
The Comptroller of Prisons in the state, Alhaji Ahmadu Adamu, disclosed this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Gombe on Tuesday.
Adamu said that the facility, built in 1919 with capacity for 379 inmates, currently harboured a population that was 194 per cent above its carrying capacity.
While blaming the congestion largely on delay in the trial of suspects in court, he called for a reform of the criminal justice system for speedy prosecution of suspects.
He said that the awaiting trial inmates were not part of the rehabilitation programme of the prison.
“Out of necessity, we include them to keep them busy and reduce their level of idleness,’’ he said.
The comptroller urged all stakeholders to discharge their constitutional responsibilities toward de-congesting the Gombe prison