LASG: FG Re­jected Pro­posal to De­con­gest Pris­ons un­der Tin­ubu Govt

Seeks re­lo­ca­tion of pris­ons na­tion­wide

THISDAY - - NEWSXTRA - Gboyega Akin­sanmi

The Lagos State Gov­ern­ment has dis­closed how the fed­eral gov­ern­ment re­jected its plan to re­solve the chal­lenges of over­pop­u­la­tion and san­i­ta­tion in three pris­ons in the state un­der the ad­min­is­tra­tion of Sen­a­tor Bola Ahmed Tin­ubu.

It, how­ever, can­vassed the re­lo­ca­tion of the pris­ons across the fed­er­a­tion to more spa­cious lo­ca­tions, which he said, would largely solve the prob­lem of ac­com­mo­da­tion fac­ing prison service.

The Sec­re­tary to the State Gov­ern­ment, Mr. Tunji Bello, made the dis­clo­sure at a meet­ing with the state Comp­trol­ler of the Pris­ons Service, Mr. Tunde Ladipo and top of­fi­cials of the Nige­rian Pris­ons Service at the week­end.

At the meet­ing, Bello can­vassed the need to re­lo­cate the prison yards across the fed­er­a­tion “to more spa­cious lo­ca­tions as one of the means of ac­com­mo­dat­ing more in­mates adding that pris­ons in the state which in­clude Max­i­mum, Min­i­mum and Ikoyi pris­ons are over­pop­u­lated.”

He ex­plained that there was a time that the state gov­ern­ment un­der the Tin­ubu ad­min­is­tra­tion planned to build mas­sive prison yards in Epe and pro­vide ad­e­quate fa­cil­i­ties for mem­bers of staff in or­der to re­duce the prob­lems of over­pop­u­la­tion in the pris­ons.

He ex­plained that the fed­eral gov­ern­ment then re­jected the pro­posal, which he said, had really com­pounded the chal­lenges of over­pop­u­la­tion and san­i­ta­tion in three pris­ons in the state.

He said the pris­ons in Lagos “are over pop­u­lated one way or the other. In fact, Ikoyi Prison has al­ways been hav­ing per­sis­tent prob­lem on san­i­ta­tion and this has re­mained un­re­solved.

“The pris­ons ca­pac­i­ties have been ex­ceeded and their fa­cil­i­ties are over stretched. Trans­port­ing the in­mates to court re­mains a se­ri­ous bur­den to the staff as well,” Bello ex­plained.

He, how­ever, noted that the ad­min­is­tra­tion of Gov­er­nor Ak­in­wunmi Am­bode would con­tinue to as­sist the State Com­mand of the Nige­rian Pris­ons Service with equip­ment and fa­cil­i­ties to keep the pris­ons safe.

Bello also said the state was ready to em­brace non-cus­to­dial pun­ish­ment of of­fend­ers and would also li­aise with the state At­tor­ney Gen­eral on the is­sue, lament­ing that many peo­ple “are now be­ing re­manded in prison cus­tody for civil of­fences like street trad­ing among others.”

Also speak­ing at the meet­ing, Ladipo had com­mended the Am­bode ad­min­is­tra­tion for its con­stant as­sis­tance to the state com­mand of the Nige­rian Prison Service de­spite the fact that it is a fed­eral agency.

He also sought the as­sis­tance of the state gov­ern­ment in pro­vid­ing se­cu­rity equip­ment like body scan­ners at the Pris­ons and the in­stal­la­tion of close cir­cuit cam­eras and watch tow­ers to mon­i­tor the in­mates.

He pleaded with the state gov­ern­ment “to consider non-cus­to­dial sen­tences for peo­ple who run foul of the state En­vi­ron­men­tal San­i­ta­tion laws be­cause many of­fend­ers con­victed can­not pay the op­tional fine.”

L-R: Us­manu Dan­fodiyo Univer­sity, Sokoto (UDUS) Alumni and Tony Elumelu En­tre­pre­neur, Dr. Shadi Sabeh; Vice Chan­cel­lor, UDUS, Pro­fes­sor Ab­dul­lahi Abdu Zuru; Chair­man, UBA Plc and Founder, Tony Elumelu Foun­da­tion, Mr. Tony O. Elumelu; Sul­tan of Sokoto, Sa’ad Abubakar III; and Ex­ec­u­tive Direc­tor, North, UBA Plc. Ibrahim Puri, when Elumelu paid a cour­tesy visit to the state ahead of the na­tional di­a­logue se­ries in Sokoto....week­end

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