The Nigeria Prison Services, Akwa Ibom Command, has taken delivery of large quantities of drugs to address the health needs of the inmates in the four prisons under it.
Mr Alex Oditah, the new Controller of Prisons in the state, disclosed this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Sunday in Uyo.
Oditah said the drugs, provided by the Controller-General of Nigerian Prisons, Alhaji Ja’afaru Ahmed, would be distributed to the prisons in Eket, Ikot Abasi, Ikot Ekpene and Uyo.
He said that the quality and the quantity of the drugs received were unprecedented, adding that in the past the supply was not encouraging.
“We have qualified personnel to administer these drugs. The doctors have no reason to complain now because these drugs are sufficient to last for long.
“The expiry dates for these drugs span between three and four years,” he said.
He also advised medical personnel in each of the prisons to ensure that the drugs were dispensed judiciously whenever they took delivery of them.
Oditah commended the services for providing vehicles for the prison commands across the nation which had enabled them to perform their duties, including taking suspects to courts.
“I assumed duty in this command in August. I visited the prisons in Eket, Ikot Abasi, Ikot Ekpene and Uyo as soon as I assumed duties.
“It was very clear that the prisons are grossly congested, but generally, the prisons in the state are peaceful,” he said.
The controller noted that the prisons’ capacity for 1,366 inmates had been overstretched with 2,363 inmates.
He disclosed that over 80 per cent of the inmates in the prisons were awaiting trial.
Oditah attributed the congestion in the prisons to the increasing rate in cultism, kidnapping, robbery, rape and child theft in the state.
The controller, however, said that the prisons in Akwa Ibom required more logistic support to take care of the increasing inmates.
“Although the prison service is doing well, it cannot do it alone. My appeal to the state government is that it supports the service, especially in the area of logistics.
“The facilities and even the vehicles are all overstretched. So if the state government could help we will appreciate it so much,’’ he said.