• Sunday, May 19, 2024
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COVID 19: Senate seeks immediate clean-up, fumigation of Nigerian prisons

The Senate
To prevent outbreak of epidemics especially the  dreaded coronavirus, the Senate is seeking immediate clean-up of prisons in Nigeria by way of fumigating the  correctional centers.
The Senate is concerned that the prisons, renamed correctional centers, only exist by name because facilities at the centers are not up to global standard.
Consequently, the Senate has urged the ministry of interior to quickly commence the process of upgrading facilities and to transform the centers to be habitable for inmates.
The decision by the Senate followed a motion by Senator Lilian Uche Ekwunife (Anambra Central) on the need to upgrade, decongest and disinfect the prisons nationwide.
According to Ekwunife, the overcrowding of prisons have created a very unhygienic and inhumane environment which, she said, is the biggest challenge faced by inmates.
“Although our prisons have been given the new name “correctional centers”, they are so by names only, they are in no way near the standards of correction centers anywhere  in the world.
“In many instances, first offenders are lumped up with hardened criminals. This singular act has virtually turned what should have been a correctional center into places where new criminal gangs are formed.
“As a correctional center, infrastructure must be improved and provisions made for orrectional facilities such as academic, skilled training and recreational facilities,” Ekwunife said.
However, the Senate has urged the interior ministry and Nigerian Prison Services to work together and come up with a workable modality on how to fastback the process of dicongesting the correctional centers in the country.
To improve facilities in the prisons, the Senate has mandated its committees on interior, judiciary,  human rights as legal matters to undertake oversight on the State of correctional centers and report back to plenary within four weeks.