Executing inmates to decongest Nigeria’s prisons is not the solution, CSOs tell FG

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Executing inmates to decongest Nigeria’s prisons is not the solution, CSOs tell FG

Prisoners Rehabilitation and Welfare Action (PRAWA) and the CSO Forum on Detention and Prison Services in Nigeria called on the Nigerian government to end the execution of sentenced inmates as a solution to congestion in detention centers across the country .

The CSOs launched this call following the decision of the Minister of the Interior to execute 3,008 detainees in order to reduce prison overcrowding.

But in a statement jointly signed by the 20 members of the CSO forum and made available by the deputy director of PRAWA on Friday, said the Nigerian government should instead implement laws that address the issue of the high number of people in awaiting trial in detention to combat congestion.

They also urged that Nigeria meanwhile formally establish a moratorium on the execution of death row prisoners.

“While agreeing with the Minister of the Interior on the need to close the cases concerning 3,008 convicted felons awaiting execution, we do not subscribe to the Minister’s call for the execution of these people for many reasons.

“The focus should instead be on putting in place mechanisms for the implementation of the articles of the Nigerian Corrections Act which provides for the treatment of these sentenced inmates and the management of congestion in detention centers.” , indicates the press release.

The groups specifically called for mechanisms to be put in place to ensure the effective implementation of section 12 (2) (c) of the Nigerian Corrections Act which provides that “when an inmate sentenced to death has exhausted all legal appeal procedures and a period of 10 years has elapsed without execution of the sentence, the president of the court can commute the death penalty to life imprisonment ”.

They also called for the implementation of article 12 (4-12) of the law which provides for the early warning signal for action to the persons and institutions concerned such as the Attorney General of the Federation and that of States and the Chief Justice of the CTF and that of the State as the case may be to act when a penitentiary center exceeds its capacity to ensure that measures are taken to decongest these centers.

“Specifically, subsection (8) of the same section 12 empowers the state comptroller and the superintendent in charge of a penitentiary center to deny more inmate admissions when a center is filled to capacity.

They further advised that Nigeria should also focus on combating the influx into detention centers by adhering to the use of pre-trial detention as a measure of last resort, as advocated by the Standard Minimum Rules for Detention. United Nations for non-custodial measures.

The statement added: “Unfortunately, the undersigned members of our Forum see the Honorable Minister’s request for the execution of detainees as a consequence of Nigeria’s failure to heed the appeal of the United Nations General Assembly. for states to establish a moratorium on enforcement. death sentences.

“The call for execution is in fact a cut in the country’s human rights record and of course we know the consequences on the image of our dear country within the Committee of Nations.

It is the position of our Forum that the execution of detainees cannot be a solution to the congestion which is obviously not caused by the presence of such detainees in detention.

“We therefore urge Nigeria to follow the line of argument of opponents of the death penalty who regard the death penalty as inhuman and criticize it for its irreversibility. “

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The declaration was signed by PRAWA and the following members of the United Nations CSO Forum on Detention and Prison Services.
1. Center for Gender Perspective and Social Development (GPSDC)
2. Prison Fellowship Nigeria.
3.Social inclusion of the voiceless and neglected (SIVON) *
4. Headfort Foundation
5. Initiative of the defenders of justice and peace
6. COMPPART Foundation for Justice and Peacebuilding,
7. Freedom for Life Initiative.
8. CHFARR
9. Olive Justice Initiative
10. Bridges and Hands Foundation
11. Hosec Foundation
12. Securing the Creative Gold Mine initiative among young people
13. Hope behind bars Africa.
14. Rehabilitation foundation
15. Ideal Africa Foundation (IAF)

16. NOPRIN Foundation

17. Elixir Trust Foundation
18. Jigawa Human Rights Network and Civil Society Resource Center.
19. Sufabel Community Development Initiative (SCDI)

By PRNigeria


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