The Federal Government will soon re-open the 32 prisons closed in the North-east at the heat of the insurgency, the Controller-General of Prisons, Ja’afaru Ahmed, said yesterday.
Addressing senior officers of the Nigeria Prisons Service (NPS) in Abuja yesterday, Ahmed said the move was part of reforms being carried out in the service.
“49 of our officers were killed when our prisons were attacked in Mubi, Meha, Damaturu and various other places in the North-east and well over 32 prisons were closed but very soon, we intend to re-open those prisons for operation because of relative peace and stability that have been restored in the North-east.
“We also intend to rehabilitate most of the prisons that were destroyed as a result of the insurgency”, he said.
Ahmed disclosed that no fewer than 65,000 inmates were presently in prison custody, saying 72% of them were still awaiting trial.
“This situation is unacceptable and must be changed at all costs if our reformation and rehabilitation mandate must be achieved”, he said.
He promised to initiate intensive relationships with the office of the Attorney General and Minister of Justice as well as the Inspector General of Police to addressing the problem.
He also called for the adoption of non-custodial sentencing options in line with provisions of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act (ACJA) 2015 in order to reduce inmates population as well as financial burden on the state among others.
He said government approved N450 for the daily feeding of each prisoner and not N14,000.
He said though, the amount was not provided for in the 2015 budget, the arrears and this year’s expenses had been captured in the 2016 budget.
Source: Daily Trust