Interior Minister Cautions Officials of Prisons Against Indiscriminate Delay

Interior Minister Cautions Prisons Officer On Indiscriminate DelayThe Minister of Interior, General Abdulrahman Dambazau (Rtd), has read the riot act to officials of the Nigerian Prisons Service (NPS), saying the era of indiscriminate delay by prisons officials to present accused persons in court would no longer be tolerated.

General Dambazau gave the warning at an emergency summit on the state of prisons in Nigeria organised by the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory.

While calling for an urgent decongestion of the prisons across all states in Nigeria, General Dambazau also decried the increasing number of awaiting trial inmates and the inhuman treatment they face in prisons.

In a moment of lamentation, the Controller General of the Nigerian Prisons Service, Dr. Peter Ekpendu, enumerated the various challenges of the service as the Executive Director of Carmelite Prisoners Interest Organisation, Reverend Father Ambrose Ekeroku, criticised the inhuman treatment of prisoners by prison officials and security agencies.

The Executive Secretary of the NHRC, Professor Bem Angwe, used the occasion to advise the Federal government against swapping of prisoners.

Nigeria and the sub-Saharan Africa are faced with problems of prison congestion, excessive use of force during arrest of suspects, torture, unlawful detention and abuse of prisoners among other issues.

The prisons reform conference, according to the organisers, was aimed at exploring new efforts at reforming the sector in a bid to proffer effective and sustainable solution.

Agency To Build New Facilities To Decongest Prisons

nigerian prisonThe Nigerian Prison Service is planning to build new prisons and renovate the old ones, as part of effort by the current administration to decongest the prisons across the nation, the Comptroller General of the Prison Service, Dr. Peter Ekpendu, has said.

Dr. Ekpendu gave the hint during the commissioning of the Zaria Prison that was renovated by the Kaduna State government.

Some aggrieved inmates of the prison had on May 28, set the detention facility ablaze during a riot, while two inmates escaped.

During an inspection tour to assess the level of damage at the prison, Governor Nasir El-Rufai, approved the sum of 24 million Naira for the renovation of the facility.

Riots and jail breaks in Nigerian prisons have become a phenomenon that have more or less become part and parcel of issues of great concern in the administration of justice, prisons management and national security.

Some of the causes of most of the riots in prisons in Nigeria include congestion in cells, poor feeding of inmates, lack of court appearance, poor medical attention and facilities and harsh punishment in prisons among others.

The Zaria prisons built in 1903 is not an exception, as it witnessed an attempted jail break on May 28, 2015.

At the commissioning of the renovated building were the Controller General of the Service accompanied by the representative of the Kaduna State Governor, Amina Sijuade and heads of other security agencies.

The Controller General said the renovation of old prison building and the construction of new ones had become very important to decongest detention centres across the nation and give them the necessary infrastructural facelift required in line with international standards.

While acknowledging that Prisons Service was within the exclusive list in Nigeria, he urged Governors to help the Federal Government improve prison facilities in their respective states.

The State Commissioner of Police, Umar Shehu, who was also at the event, assured Nigerians of the readiness of his command to collaborate with the Nigerian Prison Service for speedy dispensation of justice, as a way to further decongest the prisons.

NPS To Build New Prisons, Renovate Old Ones

NPS To Build New Prisons, Renovate Old OnesThe Controller-General of the Nigerian Prisons Service (NPS), Dr. Peter Ekpendu, says the service is planning to build new prisons and renovate the old ones as part of effort by the current administration to decongest the prisons across the country.

He disclosed this in the presence of a representative of the Kaduna State Governor, Amina Sijuade, the Controller of Prisons in the state, Abubakar Garba as well as the state’s Commissioner of Police, Umar Shehu, during the commissioning of the Zaria Prison that was renovated by the State government.

Some aggrieved inmates of the prison had on May 28, set part of the detention facility ablaze during a riot, while two inmates escaped.

During an inspection tour to assess the level of damage at the prison, Governor Nasir El-Rufai had released the sum of 24 Million naira for the renovation of the damaged facility.

The Controller-General stressed the importance to decongest detention centres across the country and give them the necessary infrastructural face-lift required in line with international standards.

Acknowledging that Prisons Service was within the exclusive list in Nigeria, Dr. Ekpendu challenged state governors in the country to help the Federal Government improve prison facilities in their respective states.

The state’s Commissioner of Police also pledged the readiness of his command to collaborate with the NPS for speedy dispensation of justice as a way to further decongest the prisons.

 

Ebola: Officials Say Prison Inmates To Stay Free

Prisoners in NigeriaOfficials of the Nigeria Prisons Service have promised to ensure that inmates in the nation’s prisons, who are awaiting trial, stay free of the Ebola Virus Disease.

The Deputy Comptroller of the Service in charge of administration, Dr Peter Ekpendu, who spoke at a meeting in Abuja on Tuesday called for the improvement of sanitary conditions in all prisons.

He said that allowing the disease amongst the inmates would be a serious threat to the nation at large.

The drive towards containing the spread of the Ebola virus disease amongst over 65 per cent of inmates awaiting trial is the reason behind the meeting.

Since the outbreak of the Ebola Virus Disease in Nigeria in July, brought in by a Liberian-American, Mr Patrick Sawyer, the government has stressed the need for more awareness to promote good hygiene amongst Nigerians.

Mr Sawyer died on July 25.

Since the outbreak of the Ebola Virus Disease early this year, at least 1,427 persons have died from the virus, which the World Health Organization has declared an international emergency on.

As the Federal Government, experts and private institutions have continued to discuss how to contain the spread of the Ebola disease, they believe that the nation’s prisons must be on red alert to check any occurrence.

No doubt, the nation’s prisons have become congested,creating room for easy spread of diseases amongst the inmates. But government officials say safeguarding the human rights of Nigerians cannot take place where the health of its people is at stake.