FG To Inaugurate Committee On Prison Reform

prisonThe Minister of Interior, Abdulrahaman Dambazau, says that a committee on the Reformation of Prisons will be soon inaugurated.

The Minister said that the development is part of efforts by the Federal Government to decongest and secure prison facilities across the country.

He made the disclosure on Monday during a meeting with the Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai, at the Government House in Kaduna, northwest Nigeria.

The Interior Minister said that the committee would come up with the ways of rehabilitating the prisons in line with global best practices.

He added that the Ministry of Interior would collaborate with the Kaduna State government on the decongestion and rehabilitation of the convict prison that was built over 100 years ago.

Mr Dambazau also promised to lead the ministry to partner with the state government to tackle the menace of cattle rustling, kidnapping and herdsmen attacks.

Governor El-Rufai on his part commended the support and contribution of the paramilitary agencies in the fight against crime in the state.

He further requested for the relocation of the Kaduna convict prison from its present location in the state capital to a more suitable place on the outskirts of the town.

The Governor hinted that his administration has been conducting periodic jail delivery and granting of amnesty to prisoners with minor offences, in order to decongest the prisons in the state.

Nigeria at 55: El-Rufai Pardons 5 Prisoners Awaiting Execution

Kaduna

Governor Nasir El-Rufai  of Kaduna State on Thursday granted pardon to five  prisoners  awaiting execution as an exercise of his executive powers to mark Nigeria’s 55th Independence Day celebrations.

The governor also pardoned six other prisoners, who were serving  various jail terms at the Kaduna Convict prison.

Speaking at the Independence Anniversary parade held at the Ahmadu Bello Stadium in the state capital, El-Rufai said he pardoned the prisoners based on recommendations from the State Advisory Council on the Prerogative of Mercy, and also based on their good behaviour, while others were released due to ill health.

He advise the pardoned prisoners to be of good behaviour as they re-integrate into the society, warning that government will not tolerate any form of crime and threats to security in the state.

Governor El-Rufai urged Nigerians to always support the present administration at both the state and federal levels and to also pray for those who were staking their lives for the unity and progress of the country.

He also noted that the provision of free basic education and reviving the sector will be one of the priorities of his administration in its four-year term.

The 55th Independence Day celebration witnessed the presence of traditional rulers, religious leaders and heads of security agencies in the state.

For over four years, Kaduna has not marked previous Independence Anniversaries due to the Boko Haram security challenge.

Kaduna Chief Judge Frees 95 Inmates Awaiting Trial

Empty-prisonThe Kaduna State Chief judge, Justice Tanimu Zailani, has freed 95 inmates in the Kaduna Convict Prison awaiting trial, warning them to “go and sin no more”.

The Chief Judge released the inmates during a working visit by the State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai, to the detention facility in the state capital.

Justice Zailani said the gesture was aimed at decongesting the prisons and releasing some inmates who had been awaiting trial for many years.

On arrival at the prisons, the Governor inspected a guard mounted in his honour by the Prison Armed Squad.

The Kaduna Convict Prison established in 1915, with a capacity to house only 547 inmates, is being over stretched, as it currently accommodates over 1000 inmates. Out of this number, 114 are condemned criminals with 11 of them, including a woman, indigenes of Kaduna State.

The 95 inmates are mainly those on awaiting trial list and most of them have stayed between five to nine five years in detention without conviction.

They were released by the Chief Judge, as part of efforts to decongest the prisons and in line with the powers conferred on him under Section 1 (1) of the Criminal Justice Release from Custody Special Provision Act CAP C40, 2007, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria.

In his address, Governor Nasir El-Rufai said the President Muhammad Buhari’s administration was determined to decongest prisons across the country to ensure a crime free society.

El-Rufai described as mere injustice, the practice of keeping awaiting trial inmates on minor offenses in the prison for a long time.

He said the All Progressives Congress’ administration in the state would strive to improve the skill and vocational training of inmates within and outside the prison.

This, he said, would lead to creation of jobs and reduction of the rate of crimes in the state.

In his address, the State Controller of Prisons, Abubakar Garba, briefed the Governor on the challenges confronting the detention facility which include lack of operational vehicles to convey inmates to court and inadequate vocational training materials among others.

The visit of the Governor to Kaduna prisons was rounded up with a drama presentation by some of the freed inmates to illustrate their positive change in character and behaviour.

NEMA Donates Materials To Kaduna Convict Prison

NEMAThe National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), North West Zone, has donated materials worth millions of naira to the Kaduna Convict Prison.

While presenting the items to the State Prison Controller in Kaduna on Friday, NEMA Zonal Coordinator, Musa Ilalah, said that the donation was in response to the request by the command and also geared towards making the inmates comfortable while in prison custody.

Ilalah listed the materials donated as 500 mattresses, 500 blankets, bags of detergent, soap, plastic buckets, bags of rice, nylon mats, blankets and mosquito nets.

Other items, according to the NEMA Zonal Coordinator, include plates, cups and spoons.

On receiving the items from NEMA, the Kaduna State Controller of Prisons, Abubakar Talba, commended the agency for the gesture.

Talba said that the donation was the first of its kind since the establishment of the convict prison in 1915. The Controller also used the opportunity to call on corporate organizations, government agencies and individuals to come to the aid of the service by emulating NEMA.

He added that the situation of things in the Kaduna prison had been made worse with suspects awaiting trial swelling the population to over 1,000 inmates from its original capacity of 500.

The Controller attributed the development to delay in the nation’s justice delivery system.

The prison has been faced with so many challenges such as lack of medical facilities, among others.

The prison authorities expressed hope that public spirited individuals and organizations would listen to the plight of the service, and most importantly, the government agencies saddled with the task of overseeing the affairs of the nation’s prisons would live up to their responsibilities.