Senate makes case for decongestion of prisons •Mourns Col. Ali, other fallen heroes
Posted by Mayowa Okekale, Abuja | 9 November 2016 | 2,320 times
The Senate has urged the Court of Justice of Nigeria and Comptroller General of Prisons to immediately conduct an exercise to identify awaiting trial inmates dumped in the Prisons, without due and diligent prosecution for the purpose of granting them their freedom.
This was the resolution of the Senate on Tuesday Plenary, following a ‘Motion on the Urgent need to decongest the Nigerian Prisons’ as sponsored by Senator Samuel Anyanwu of Imo East.
Senator Anyanwu, while speaking on the problem of congestion in the Prisons and how it has continued to affect nation's criminal justice system, said Nigerian Prisons have become an environmental hazard both to Prisoners and the Community at large.
He however, cited that the Port Harcourt Prison which was built in 1928 for 804 inmates but now has 3,824 inmates, which mathematically is a 500 percent increase.
Senator Adamu Aliero of Kebbi Central who seconded the motion on the urgent need to decongest Nigerian Prisons, said the Prison facilities are already overstretched.
Senate Leader, Ali Ndume, while briefly commenting, asked his colleagues and members of the Commitee on Interior to visit the Kuje and Suleja Prisons as a study to facilitate the release of awaiting trial inmates and those who are guilty of light offences.
As a result of the deliberations, the Senate concluded that the Federal Government must immediately take steps to renovate Prisons across Nigeria and would urge the CJN, AGF and State AGs to exercise their constitutional rights of setting free inmates.
The Upper Chamber as well mandated its Committee on Interior to visit Kuje and Suleja Prisons as case study and ensure release of eligible inmates.
In another development, the Senate has expressed sadness over the passage of the Col. Muhammadu Abu Ali and other heroes who were killed by the Boko Haram terrorists, conveying its deep condolences to the families of the deceased.
During the plenary on Tuesday, the Senate equally observed a minute silence in honour of the Lt. Colonel Ali and other fallen heroes.
Senator Isaac Alfa, representing Kogi East, whose point of order on the demise engendered the condolence, spoke on the commitment and bravery of the Late Lt. Colonel who was from his Constituency. He admitted further that “it was such a bad time to have experienced such in the history of the nation.”
Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, in his comment, succinctly maintained that what Nigeria can do to honour the heroes lies with the Federal Government. “FG should totally defeat the Boko Haram insurgents to honour the deceased heroes,” he said.