Mr Joshua Onyemuche, a philanthropist in Imo, on Monday promised to build skills acquisition centre in Okigwe Prison to enable the inmates to learn skills while still serving their sentence.
Onyemuche made the promise at the opening ceremony of a football tournament he donated to the inmates to engage them till the end of high court vacation.
He also said he had hired three lawyers to represent some of the inmates who were languishing in the prison because they lacked the capacity to engage the services of lawyer.
He expressed concern that some of the inmates that committed minor offences were being remanded in the prison and abandoned without any representation by any lawyer, thereby spending most of their youthful age in the prison.
He promised to donate a vehicle, sewing machines, drugs and art and drawing materials to alleviate some of the problems in the prison.
“I am deeply touched by this visit and I will ensure that I visit this prison regularly to know your immediate problems.
The philanthropist received a list of challenges confronting the prison from the Deputy Controller in Charge of the prison Mr Valentine Nwosu and assured him of meaningful assistance.
Addressing the inmates, Onyemucha admonished them on good character.
“This is not the end of life; you can still become whatever you can after your stay here.
“I know that some of you are innocent of what you are accused of, while some actually committed the offence, but what is important is to ask yourself if you want to come back to the prison again after you have left,” he said.
He said the essence of the football competition and the skill acquisition centre was to engage them meaningfully so that they can be useful to the society when they were out of the prison.
Nwosu said the prison was one of the best in the country in terms of discipline and hygiene.
He said officers were dedicated to their duties and had excellent relationship with the inmates.
“We live as brothers and sisters here and the rights of the inmates are highly respected.
“I am very glad for this visit and some of the promises and donations you have made showed that some Nigerians still have the interest of humanity at heart,” he said.