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Published On: Mon, Dec 29th, 2014

Jailbreaks: Lawyers urge FG to rehabilitate prisons

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Some lawyers in Lagos yesterday urged the Federal Government to rehabilitate prisons in the country, in order to prevent recurrent jailbreaks.

The lawyers, in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Lagos, decried the deplorable state of most prisons in country, blaming this for the recent jailbreaks.

NAN reports that jailbreaks were recently recorded in Lokoja, Ado-Ekiti and Minna in November and December, which have raised public concern over the security situations in the facilities.

Chief Felix Fagbohungbe (SAN) blamed the spate of jailbreaks in the country on the long neglect by government of the prison system.

According to him, prisons are set up as rehabilitation centres and therefore deserve adequate attention of the government.

Fagbonhungbe said most of the prisons were built many years ago and currently accommodated inmates beyond their capacity.

The senior advocate said, “Some of these prisons have old structures and were built years ago with minimal capacity; but as time progressed, the number of criminal cases increased, and so also the same number of inmates.

“The prison system has completely been abandoned by the government; they are overcrowded and the inmates are not given the necessary attention.The prison structures in place are in a bad shape; a prison that was built for about 500 inmates, now accommodates over 1,000 inmates.

“There is no discipline in the prison; the warders are not motivated in terms of remuneration, and so, even the inmates give stipends to these warders who allow them to have their way in custody.

“It therefore follows that there is a need to rehabilitate the prison system to improve its standard.

“There is also the need to relocate some prisons so as to cater for the growing population of inmates.” (Source: NAN)

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