Enugu— THE Catholic Diocese of Enugu, yesterday, urged the Federal Government to back the amended Nigerian Prisons Law with the provision of adequate facilities for the reformation of inmates.
President Muhammadu Buhari, Wednesday, signed the new Nigerian Prisons Service amended bill into law, which changed the name to Nigerian Correctional Service.
In the amended law, the Nigerian Correctional Service facilities nationwide would be governed by policies and programmes meant for correction and reintegration of offenders back to society.
The Director of Communication in the Diocese, Rev. Fr. Benjamin Achi, told newsmen in Enugu that the new name sounded good and nice, but the bottom line would be having all the new policies and programmes functional.
Achi said the diocese had been in the forefront of appealing to the Federal Government to give the new correctional service human face and make it a true reformatory centre.
According to him, “it is not changing nomenclature or name that matters but doing the needful, which is well known to the government. Over the years, the Catholic Church, especially Enugu Catholic Diocese, has continued to see to the welfare and well-being of prisons inmates.
“We have drawn the attention of the government to some urgent need and immediate actions needed to be taken to make the correctional facilities better. It is common knowledge that the correctional facilities needed de-congestion and expansion.
“The facilities needed urgent installation of some appliances and amenities that will give minimum comfort to the inmates. They should at least live like humans. Those that work in the prisons or correctional facilities, notwithstanding their names or cadre, needed to be taken care of, for them to give back the same love to the inmates.”
He also called for a holistic, judicial and law enforcement reforms that would set other forms of punishment for lawbreakers of lower offences, without using the prisons or correctional facilities.