Aliyu Bagudu Abubakar, leading the Legal Aid Council, has brought attention to the alarming conditions at the Keffi Medium Security Custodial Centre. Initially designed for a capacity of 300-350 inmates, the facility now holds a staggering 779 individuals, as reported by Abubakar following a recent inspection.

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Expressing deep concern, Abubakar highlighted the potential link between overcrowding and the incidence of deaths within the centre over the past three years. He emphasized the pressing need for improved conditions to mitigate such risks.

During his visit, Abubakar also raised serious concerns about the practice of housing juveniles alongside adult inmates, many of whom possess dubious backgrounds. He engaged with detainees and pledged to pursue legal cases pending in courts across Abuja and its surroundings.

A team led by Okwuegbu Egenti, Deputy-Director of the FCT office, accompanied Abubakar to the Custodial Centre. Egenti, overseeing a group of lawyers and paralegals, provided legal assistance to sixteen inmates facing charges ranging from conspiracy to theft and even more serious offenses like rape.

In addressing the issue of juveniles sharing cells with adults, Egenti firmly asserted the potential harm such arrangements pose. He stressed the vulnerability of juveniles to coercion and corruption by hardened criminals, advocating for separate facilities to safeguard their welfare.

Egenti assured the welfare officer at the Correctional Centre of their commitment to escalate this concern to higher authorities within the FCT Command and the Comptroller’s office. He underscored the importance of governmental intervention under the Renewed Hope Agenda to establish juvenile homes in Keffi and Abuja.

Despite economic challenges, Egenti commended the Custodial Centre’s management for maintaining cleanliness, ensuring inmates’ appearance, and providing adequate nutrition. This commendation reflects their dedication amidst difficult circumstances.