NGO, Prisons service seek partnership to aid prisons reforms

Hudu Yakubu, Abuja 

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A Nongovernmental Organisation, Prisons Rehabilitation and Welfare Action, PRAWA, has seeks new partnership within and outside Nigeria to push towards realisation of its vision for the emergence of a humane and secure society that corrects and empower to prevent crime, violence and torture in the country.

The Executive Director of the Organisation, Dr Uju Agomah stated this during a joined media briefing with the Nigerian Prisons Service in Abuja on the plight of awaiting inmates in the country.

Dr Agomoh explained that statistic from the Nigerian Prison Service survey indicated that about seventy three thousand inmates which represented 68 percent are still awaiting trial in various prisons across the country.

She then solicited the help of the free legal representative to assist in rendering the inmates their service to complement part of the Nigerian government prison reform of decongesting the nation’s prison.

The Executive Director of PRAWA also called on the media to continue to assist the agency in reawakening the consciousness of states in supporting prisons activities in their various states.

Dr Agomoh also explained that there was need for the government to establish prisons for young offenders, usually called bolster homes, in all states of the federation, stressing that lack of such reformation Centres in parts of Nigeria, has done more harm than good to the nation.

This is to avoid the situation where under aged children will mixing up with adult prisoners, pregnant women, nursing mothers, elders and people with terminal illnesses needed such special homes and treatment as well“, Dr Agomoh noted.

In his remarks, the public relations officer of the Nigerian Prisons service, Deputy Comptroller Prisons, DCP Francis Enobore applauded the present administration of president Muhammadu Buhari led administration in improving the nation’s prisons conditions especially in the areas of procuring all the necessary materials made for prisoners and staff of staff of the establishment.

DCP Enobore said that since the present administration came onboard, the prisons service has been getting enough drugs, food and uniforms for junior staff of the establishment.

He then solicited the continued support of the media to assist the agency in reawakening the consciousness of state in supporting activities in their various states across the country.

According to the Prisons Spokesperson, the total prisoners nationwide as at 29th March 2018 stands at about 73000 with about 68 percent as pre trial detainees.

However, it is important that fellows Nigerian behind these fingers in order to appreciate the pains and mental torture they pass through daily. It is therefore beholds on us as a people to assist these indigent citizen with Pro Bono legal representation and reintegration has a link with the level of adjustment in the larger society“, he added.

DCP Enobore also said that the administration of criminal justice put 2015, is certainly robust enough to accommodate these gap therefore encouraged early domestication and implementation of the provisions of the Act.

He noted that with the renew thrust of prisoners welfare driven policy, member of the public will see the need to partner the Nigerian prisons service in ensuring that discharged prisoners are accommodated and allowed to settle in the community without undue harassment.

Ime N