House investigates Nigerian prison reforms

Lawan Hamidu, Abuja

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The House of Representatives is to conduct an investigative hearing on prison reforms, to identify the challenges of infrastructure and administration of criminal justice system and other factors that could facilitate the decongestion of the prison.

This followed the unanimous adoption of a motion on the need to decongest Nigerian Prison to promote the fundamental rights of inmates’.

Presenting the motion, Mr. Olufemi Fakeye decried the level of congestion in the Prisons, saying they no longer serve as correctional facilities for reformation of inmates.

According to the lawmaker, congestion in the prisons has become so acute that many cells meant to accommodate about 50 inmates were found to be accommodating up to 150 inmates.

He said “A case in point being the Kirikiri Maximum Security Prison in Lagos, which was built to accommodate 956 inmates, but is today occupied by over 2600 inmates.”

Military Barracks

In another motion the need to return unutilised expanses of land acquire for military barracks to the host communities, the House urged the government to stop military personnel from converting acquired communal lands for their personal use.

Mr. Afe Olowookere while presenting the motion during plenary revealed that in the 1970s, the then Federal Military Government acquired large expanses of land in some States Capitals, for purposes of establishing military barracks.

He however lamented that since the acquisition; more than eighty percent of the lands are yet to be utilized.

Olowookere alleged that some of the lands are now be lease and sold for private use by some military personnel.

 

Nnenna.O