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New US report slams Nigeria for inhumane conditions, diseases in prisons

Nigerian prisons

Nigeria’s prisons and detention centres conditions are harsh and life threatening due to gross overcrowding, inadequate medical care, and food and water shortages, a new report by the United States government stated.

The report titled, ‘2023 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices: Nigeria.’ was published by the US Department of State on Tuesday.

According to the report, overcrowding is a major problem in Nigerian prisons, as of September, prison facilities had 50 percent more inmates than designed capacity.

Many prisons were constructed 70 to 80 years ago during colonial rule and lacked basic facilities. Some prisons had no facilities to care for pregnant women or nursing inmates.

“Lack of potable water, inadequate sewage facilities, and overcrowding sometimes resulted in dangerous and unsanitary conditions.

“Disease was pervasive in cramped, poorly ventilated prison facilities, which had chronic shortages of medical supplies. Inadequate medical treatment caused some prisoners to die from treatable illnesses, such as HIV and AIDS, malaria, and tuberculosis,” the report noted.

“Only prisoners with money or support from their families had sufficient food. Prison employees sometimes stole money provided for prisoners’ food. Poor inmates sometimes relied on handouts from others to survive. Prison employees, police, and other security force personnel sometimes denied inmates food and medical treatment to punish them or extort money,” it added.