The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) has urged the federal government to adopt Kenya option to decongest prisons in the country.
Yesterday, Kenyan president, Uhuru Kenyatta, freed 7000 prisoners in the country to decongest the prisons and also to make room for incoming corruption offenders.
While applauding this intervention, MURIC applauds President Kenyatta’s visionary and humanitarian gesture, urging President Muhammadu Buhari to borrow a leaf by taking radical steps to decongest Nigeria’s overcrowded prisons.
A statement signed by its director, Professor Ishaq Akintola, and made available to LEADERSHIP yesterday, said it is on record that most prisons in Nigeria have doubled of 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,” he stressed.
This choking prison environment, the agency added, is mainly responsible for recent jailbreaks in various prisons within the country, as 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, Akintola said in the statement.
MURIC, therefore, called 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,” he pointed out.
The Federal Government, he pointed out, 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.