This is the official blog of the Nigeria-based Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC), a human rights organization which promotes, protects and projects the rights of Muslims. This group condemns terrorism and all acts of violence. Its motto is 'Dialogue, Not Violence'
Thursday, October 20, 2016
PRISON DECONGESTION: FG SHOULD LEARN FROM KENYA
21st October, 2016,
FG SHOULD LEARN FROM KENYA
Kenyan president, Uhuru Kenyatta,
yesterday freed 7000 prisoners in the country to decongest the prisons and also
to make room for incoming corruption offenders.
The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)
applauds President Kenyatta’s visionary and humanitarian gesture and calls on
President Muhammadu Buhari to emulate the Kenyan leader by taking radical steps
to decongest Nigeria’s overcrowded prisons.
It is on record that most prisons in
Nigeria contain double their capacities. Exempli
gratia, Kaduna Central Prison which was built in 1915 with a capacity for
547 inmates now has 954 prisoners, Bauchi prison which was built in 1920 for
500 prisoners only now has 1,041. Nsukka prison which has the capacity for 180
inmates now houses 500 prisoners.
This choking prison environment is
mainly responsible for recent jailbreaks in various prisons within the country.
At best, it has turned Nigerian prisons into recruitment sergeants for armed
robbers. It is not only unhealthy and inhuman but also falls short of
international best practices.
MURIC calls on President Buhari to
commence the decongestion of Nigerian prisons with immediate effect. We suggest
that priority should be given to the 54 soldiers who are currently languishing
in jail for refusing to fight Boko Haram insurgents without being adequately
armed. It was their refusal that attracted public outcry and exposed the $2.1
billion arms scandal. We believe that these 54 soldiers have suffered enough. Next
to the 54 soldiers should come awaiting trial inmates whose offences are
trivial and those who have spent one third of their prison terms.
As a parting shot, the Federal Government should not delay this general
decongestion as it will create enough space for incoming corrupt politicians,
greedy ex-army chiefs and black sheep among the judges.
Professor Ishaq Akintola,
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)