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PRISON REFORMS DIRE TO THE SECTOR — SEN. UBAH

Chairman, Senate Committee on Interior, Senator Andy Ubah has disclosed that the nation’s ageing Prison system would be reformed, saying that such was necessary at this time of the day.

He stated this at a Public hearing on consideration of doie Prison Reform bills in Abuja, noting that there was need to, “upgrade deplorable prison facilities, decongestion of over populated facilities, biometrics record keeping, and improvement in health and general welfare of inmates”.

He added that ot was  important to care for pregnant inmates, nursing mothers well as care for the infants in Nigeria prisons.

 The bill, according to him, sought to create a nexus between punishment, correction and rehabilitation as well as incorporating an articulate youthful offender program into Nigeria prison reforms.

Ubah stated that imprisonment constitutes a deprivation of the basic rights to liberty and that it does not entail the restriction of other human rights with exception of those who are naturally restricted by the fact of being in prison.

He added that prison reform is necessary to ensure that this principle is respected, the human rights of prisoners protected, and their prospect for social integration increased in compliance with relevant international standards.

In her contribution, Senator Oluremi Tinubu said that there should be a separate facility for the women in order to physically separate with a certain distance from the male prison.

The Controller General of Prisons Services, Ahmed Ja’afaru opined that adequate provision of educational facilities for the inmate is paramount as it will help to enhance their usefulness and rehabilitation to the society.

Ja’afaru stated: “430 prisoners graduated from National Open University of Nigeria”, adding that 2,281 condemned inmates nationwide have exhausted their appeal and are awaiting death penalty but the governors are not willing to sign their death warrants.

On his part, Senator Clifford Ordia, stated that the present condition of the Nigeria prisons is a national embarrassment, adding that there was need for the establishment of Prison Service Commission for effective services.

Senator Ubah, however, urged the agencies of government and stakeholders to submit their recommendations for proper consideration.

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