Rights group ac­cuses au­thor­i­ties of send­ing chil­dren to adult pris­ons

Daily Trust - - LAW - By John Chuks Azu

A prison re­form or­ga­ni­za­tion, the Cit­i­zens United for the Re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion of Er­rants (CURE) has crit­i­cized the Nige­rian se­cu­rity agen­cies over the de­ten­tion of chil­dren in adult pris­ons.

In a state­ment re­cently, the ex­ec­u­tive direc­tor CURE, Sylvester Uhaa said the grow­ing num­ber of ju­ve­niles in adult pris­ons across the coun­try is a vi­o­la­tion of in­ter­na­tional, re­gional and na­tional laws and stan­dards gov­ern­ing the ad­min­is­tra­tion of ju­ve­nile jus­tice and in­ter­na­tional con­ven­tions on the rights of the child.

He was re­act­ing to the re­lease of 80 ju­ve­niles who were serv­ing var­i­ous jail terms in Bada­gry Prison, an adult fa­cil­ity in La­gos State by the Chief Judge of the State, Jus­tice Olu­fun­mi­layo Atilade. The chil­dren were ar­rested for street hawk­ing and breach of the peace.

“While we com­mend the bold step of the CJ, we ask her take a step fur­ther and re­lease all ju­ve­niles in adult pris­ons in La­gos or have them trans­ferred to ju­ve­nile in­sti­tu­tions, as well as sanc­tion judges and mag­is­trates who en­gage in this prac­tice,” he said.

“Though the re­lease of these ju­ve­niles rep­re­sents a pos­i­tive devel­op­ment, it ex­poses the rot, law­less­ness and im­punity in­her­ent in our crim­i­nal jus­tice sys­tem. This is why we con­tinue to won­der if our jus­tice sys­tem de­serves to be called a jus­tice sys­tem be­cause it lacks the ba­sic el­e­ments of jus­tice,” he added.

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