Fifteen condemned felons, including a woman, are awaiting their dates with the hangman at the Gombe State main prison.
The facility, built 97 years ago with capacity for 379 inmates, currently hosts 1076 persons, including more than 250 awaiting trial for various offences.
The deputy comptroller of the prison, Muhammad Abba, disclosed this on Monday when the state governor, Ibrahim Hassan Dankwambo, visited the facility as part of the ceremony marking the state’s 20th anniversary.
Mr. Abba said four of the inmates are serving life sentences at the prison.
He said the inmates include 113 awaiting trial for armed robbery, 119 for culpable homicide and 44 for rape.
Welcoming the governor to the facility, the Comptroller General of Prisons, Ja’afaru Ahmed, who was represented by the state Comptroller, Ahmed Adamu, lauded the cordial relationship between the state government and prison service.
He expressed gratitude over the decision of the state government to involve the prison inmates in the anniversary celebration.
Mr. Adamu also commended the Dankwambo administration for uplifting the standard of the prison, which was built in 1919.
He listed the interventions by the state government under Mr. Dankwambo to include building a one-storey block of five cells, another block of four cells for VIPs and two security towers.
He said the administration also provided a Toyota Hilux van and an 18-seater bus for conveying prisoners to courts across the state capital, as well as drugs and beddings.
The comptroller, however, asked for more. He urged the state government to provide free medical service to the prisoners at public hospitals.
He also wants the inmates, who he said are mostly youth, incorporated into the various skills acquisition programmes of the state to facilitate their integration back into society.
Mr. Adamu said the National Open University of Nigeria has approved a study centre for inmates in the state, with the institution also waiving both registration and tuition fees for them.
The governor, while lamenting the condition of the facility, appealed to the inmates to take advantage of their incarceration to improve on their education with a view to turning over new leaves in their lives.
He directed his commissioners to, within one week, intervene with a view to alleviating the plight of the prisoners regarding the provision of drinking water, light, and bathing soaps, among other essentials.
Mr. Dankwambo, before leaving the facility, donated a cow, food items as well as blankets, clothing and germicides.
He said based on the prerogative of mercy, his administration will release some inmates on October 1.