Senate Advocates Prison Reform as 2,281 Condemned Convicts in Custody
As part of the basic requirements for the passage of any bill on the floor of the National Assembly, the Senate Commitee on Interior hosted a one – day Public Hearing and Collection of Memoranda.
Declaring the Occasion open, His Excellency the Senate President, Abubakar Bukola Saraki CON, ably represented by the Senate Leader Senator Ahmed Lawan, recognized the critical role of the Nigerian Prisons Service as a component of the Nigerian Security and Justice Sectors but lamented that ” the present state of our prisons does not guarantee the reformation of inmates”.
Earlier in his welcome address the Committee Chairman, Senator Andy Uba remarked that ” Nigerian Prisons Reforms is an absolute must”.
He also said that our prisons must improve to the point where prisoners’ rights are protected and their social prospects enhanced in line with the Geneva Rules.
The four bills in consideration were sponsored by four different senators who are not members of the committee.
One of the bills, sponsored by Senator Oluremi Tinubu seeks to have a prison system where pregnant and nursing mothers as well as infants brought into prisons or born therein , are given specialized treatment that takes care of their dietary requirements and protects the infant from possible negative influence of the environment, among other provisions.
The other bills centered on the need for a Prisons Service Commission, enhancing the philosophy of reformation, rehabilitation and reintegration, appointment of the CGP and DCGs, etc.
Presenting the position of the Nigerian Prisons Service on the bills, Controller – General of Prisons, Ja’afaru Ahmed began by appreciating the senators for their commitment to change the enabling laws of the NPS to reflect present realities, after about four decades.
He advocated for statutory backing to incorporate Awaiting Trial Persons who form a larger part of the prisoner population, into existing reformatory programmes in the Prisons.
CGP Ahmed also decried the high number of Condemned Convicts, quoting current statistics as having 2,281 of this class of prisoners.
On hand to make their various submissions were representatives from Ministry of Interior, Stakeholders Committee on Prison Decongestion, National Human Rights Commission, Prisoners Rehabilitation and Welfare Action PRAWA, renowned criminologist Prof. Etanabi Alemika and a host of others.
Dsp. SS Bulus
Public Relations Unit, PNHQ.
DCP Ibrahim Resumes as Controller of Enugu Prisons
There was exchange of baton yesterday at Enugu Maximum Security Prisons as the former officer in charge of the prisons, Deputy Controller of Prisons, DCP Felix Lawrence handed over to the new man, DCP Usman Ibrahim.
Speaking to journalists after a comprehensive hand over procedure at the Prison Yard, Old Park, Enugu, DCP Lawrence, who has now been transferred to Port-Harcourt Prisons, expressed confidence in his colleague, DCP Ibrahim, who is coming from Onitsha Prisons, and prayed for his success in Enugu Prisons.
Lawrence described his four-year stint in Enugu Prison as tasking but fulfilling, having been posted to the state in March 2014.
He said, “The experience has been very, very tasking but we give glory to God that it has come to pass. Actually, it is something that we have to give glory to God, it is not man because a watchman watches in vein if God is not with him.
“But I thank God the hour has come that I have to hand over the mantle to somebody, who is able, my good friend, my squad mate; in fact we have been together right from 1993 when we first met after the ASP course and I’m happy receiving him and handing over the mantle to him.
“And I wish Deputy Controller of Prisons, Ibrahim Usman a wonderful, God fulfilling stay in Enugu prison.”
On his part, the new helmsman, Usman, thanked the outgoing colleague for making the task easy for him.
He said, “The work has been made easy by the outgoing officer in charge. My expectation is that they (staff) should continue to work together as they worked with him and success is ours.
“He (Lawrence) has done a marvelous job here, both for inmate welfare and staff welfare too; for the upliftment of the service. I am thanking him for having done a good job; I’m thanking God for having guided him all through. I’m believing God and do pray that during my tenure too, I’m going to take the service to greater height.”
Meanwhile, it will be recalled that the Nigerian Prisons Service recently promoted 75 officers of Enugu State command in the just released 2016/2017 promotion exercise.
The newly promoted officers were at the weekend, peeped (decorated) with their new badges of rank by the Controller of Prisons, Enugu State Command, Mr. Ndubuisi Ogbodo, amid joy and celebration.
He was assisted by other service chiefs and spouses of promoted officers at the Prisons State headquarters, Independence layout Enugu.
A statement by the Public Relations Officer (PRO) of the command, Mr. Monday Chukwuemeka, an Assistant superintendent of Prisons (ASP) stated that the State Controller, Ogbodo, congratulated the officers on behalf of the Controller General of Prisons, Ahmed Ja’afarau, for the new height they attained.
He reminded them that the service expect more from them and to see the promotion as a call to duty.
The Prisons PRO, Chukwuemeka, was among the promoted officers.
Enugu prisons, which was built in 1915 with initial capacity of 638 inmates, now houses 2, 049 inmates of all categories. Ends
Prisons Officers Trained on Weapons Handling in Kebbi
Nigerian Prisons Service Kebbi State Command, on Friday completed the metamorphism of 10 General Duty Officers to a more gallant Arms Squad Men in state capital Birnin Kebbi.
This is to acquaint the officers with the rudimentary of weapons handling, Arms drill, and rules of engagement before their subsequent training in Arms Squad Training School.
The state controller of prisons CP Sani Adamu Potiskum, while addressing the officers during the passing-Out-Parade, urged them to respect the safety and rules of fire arms and thanks the Army for synergy with Prisons to tackle internal security issues in the state.
CP Potiskum, acknowledged the receipt of two additional logistics vehicles (Green Maria), Assorted Drugs for Inmates Health, kitchen utensils, toiletries, disinfectants,uniforms and accoutrements for Junior Officers, and other sundry items.
The CP said the training is in line with the Controller-General of Prisons Ja’afaru Ahmed, agenda on training and retraining of officers nationwide for effective service delivery. Lastly he expressed his deepest gratitude to the Controller-General of Prisons for redefining leadership by carving his name in Gold in taken the service to greater height.
ASP Faisal Namadi
CPRO, NPS Kebbi State Command.