By Nwafor Sunday
The senator representing Edo Central constituency, Sen. Clifford Ordia, has decried the poor state of Nigerian prisons, saying ‘it is a national embarrassment to see national prisons in such a moribund state’.
He made this known to newsmen in Abuja at an event tagged, “A one day public hearing on: Prisons Act CAP P29 LFN 2004 Bill (SB. 125); Prisons Act CAP P29 LFN 2004 Bill 2016 (SB. 288); A Bill to re-enact the Prisons Act (SB. 191); and Correction, Reformation and Re-integration centre (establishment, etc) Bill, 2018 (SB. 308)”, organised by the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria committee on Interior.
Speaking on Nigerian Prison Service Commission, Sen. Clifford Ordia said, “Present condition of our prisons is a national embarrassment, there’s a need for Prison Service Commission so they will function better than they are now”.
Reacting to the above, the Comptroller General of Nigerian Prisons Services, Ahmed Ja’afaru, said “We have 2,281 condemned inmates nationwide who have exhausted their appeals and are awaiting the death penalty but the governors are not willing to sign their death warrant which is causing congestion in the prisons.”
In view of this Mr. Wale Oloyede proposed for the establishment of Chief inspector of Prisons. In his words, “There should be an establishment act for Chief inspector of Prisons with not less than 40- 50 staff which can be recruited in the civil service, there should be a bureaucracy and should not be under the ministry of interior and ministry of justice.”
Senator Bayero Nafada reacting to the above said “The major problem is finance, if this bill is passed it will form additional expenses, extra security will be needed, how do you hope to cope with all these?”.
Similarly, Senator Andrew Uchendu, opined “Lack of political will is the bane of our problem. Are there no options you could propose to incorporate in the new bill to give relief to those confined to death instead of execution”.
Some Senators present at the public hearing on the #PrisonsReform are Senators: @oluremitinubu, @JideOmoworare, Clifford Ordia, Andrew Uchendu, Nafada Bayero and Senator @realAndyUba, chairman Senate committee on Interior, others.