Imo Security Council raises alarm over Owerri Prison’s congestion
. Declares whistle blowing on criminals
Imo State Security Council on Monday, May 8, 2017, raised alarm over the congestion and location of Owerri Prison.
The council raised the alarm after its meeting at the Government House Owerri, which was attended by all the heads of the security agencies in the state.
The state , Rochas Okorocha, after the meeting said, “the state is worried about the Owerri Prison Congestion, and the site of the Prison.
“The site is bad, just opposite the Government House. We are concerned with the number of inmates in the prison without adequate facilities.
“The Council is therefore calling on the Federal Government to do something as quickly as possible to relocate the Owerri Prison from where it is now to a suitable place for the purpose of ensuring that we don’t have a jail break in the state.”
The governor also said that the Judiciary needed a lot of renovations and personnel to dispense justice speedily.
According to him, such action would help in decongesting the prisons.
He therefore disclosed that the state government has declared a state of emergency on Judicial infrastructure.
He also said that the Commissioner of Police in the state has officially declared that whistle blowing on criminals is allowed to help fish out criminals in the land, adding that the traditional rulers of the communities hosting the airport should ensure adequate security around the facility especially now that the Cargo airport is about to take-off.
His words: “We have also noticed with dismay the rising spate of cultism which is among university students and secondary schools. We have taken decision to review the laws in this regard and make it more punitive for offenders. The House of Assembly will take this up to make the appropriate laws to check the menace of cultism in our state.
“We have noticed few cases of kidnapping suspects coming from Ngor-Okpala area. The security agencies are carefully watching the development in those places with a view to making sure that it does not rear its ugly head again.
“We have also noticed that some Chinese individuals and companies are in the state engaging in illegal timber business, cutting trees in the state. This is not with the consent of the Imo State government. That act is hereby condemned. We have advised traditional rulers and State Development Council (SDC) members to be on guard and report anybody cutting timbers and trees in the state without approval by relevant government authorities.
“We have also realized that there are a lot of people collecting illegal taxes in Imo State who produce fake receipts and uniforms and act as agencies of the state, extorting money from innocent citizens. We have frowned at this and has directed the Civil Defence to work with the relevant government agencies to bring this to a stop. Anybody arrested in this regard will be dealt with according to the law.”
The governor further disclosed that the state government has approved the establishment of security trust fund and security public relations department.
This, according to him, will enable the state government ensure proper funding of the security sector because government alone can no longer handle the burden of funding the security agencies.
He however appealed to all stakeholders and individuals to key into the programme of the government, explaining that the deputy governor would chair the programme.
“We have embarked on review and completion of lists of suspected criminals in all our communities. The affected individuals will be invited to a meeting with the security agencies. This is in our bid to put up a prevention of crime rather than fighting crime,” the governor said.
Okorocha disclosed that the council has approved the establishment of expanded security council which will involve all heads of tertiary institutions in the state, all heads of federal parastatals, security agencies, local government chairmen, head of Keke operators, clergy, market union, labour union and other unions as part of this expanded Security Council.
The governor also warned illegal miners in the state to stop.
He said, “Our attention has been brought to illegal mining in the state especially sand excavation. The men of Civil Defence had been mandated to bring to book all illegal miners in the state who do not have government authorization to do so.”