By Tordue Salem – Abuja
The House of Representatives Committee on Reformatory Institutions, will ensure the Correctional Act 2019, is implemented, meet the objectives of the Federal Government.
Chairman of the Committee, Rep. Anayo Edwin, in a press statement yesterday, expressed his Committees worries over the plight of inmates in Nigerian Prisons.
“The committee is concerned about the deplorable state of the various correctional centres across the country.
“We are not unaware of several reports on the deplorable state of affairs within the Nigerian Correctional Services and the centres in general, including congestions at the various correctional centres, decaying infrastructure among other challenges confronting the service.
“Despite the provision of the Act that the custodial service shall provide ” safe, secure and humane custody for inmates “, he said.
He observed that “inmates are still held in an inhumane environment.”
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He bemoaned that “While the Act provides for the implementation of reformatory and rehabilitation programme to aid reintegration of inmates back into the society, not much is be done in this regard”.
He hasn’t noted, that “in line with the legislative agenda of the ninth House of Representatives, under the leadership of the speaker, Rt Hon Femi Gbajabiamila, the House is committed to the full implementation of the Act”.
The lawmaker stressed that “This is to ensure the repositioning of the Nigerian Correctional Service so that the service can perform optimally in the discharge of its roles in the polity”.
He said: “Consequently, the committee has concluded plans to embark on a tour of all the correctional centres nationwide.
“The tour, which is in the discharge of the committee’s mandate to effectively oversight the Nigeria Correctional Services, is to afford members an avenue to get first-hand information on the service”.
He informed that “This includes first-hand information on the state of the correctional centres, ranging from the infrastructure, the condition of the inmates, as well as the general state of affairs of the Nigeria Correctional Services.
“It shall also afford stakeholders an opportunity to interact directly with members of the committee on how to get things to work better in the service”.
He recalled that “During the tour, the committee apart from taking an overview of the state of infrastructure at the correctional centres, shall also isolate factors militating against the performance of the Nigerian Correctional, especially as it concerns the personnel of the service and the inmates, adding that “The parliament will want to see a situation where the correctional centres becomes real reformatory institutions, as it is obtained in other parts of the world.
“Therefore, at the end of the tour, the committee shall fashion out legislative solutions to all the identified problems byways of motions and bills, where necessary.”