By Ochiaka Ugwu
In order to have a sane prison environment devoid of over congestion, there is every need to reform our justice system which is making it possible for an inmate to spend up to 10 to 15 years awaiting trial, the Programme Coordinator of Centre for Prisons Reform & Inmates Rights (CENPRIR), Mr. Smart. Isowo has said.
Mr. Isowo who briefed the press on the activities of CENPRIR in Abuja stated that their NGO is registered in 2004 and being supported by family and friends who have passion for humanitarian acts to carry on its numerous activities of Inmates welfare, Rehabilitation, Rights promotion, Skill deployment training, Decongestion, Reintegration and Research.
The prison reform advocate lamented a situation whereby inmates will be in prison for six months without access to justice while some stay for 20 years without trail, saying that is a rape on their fundamental human right and a big financial loss to the nation in terms of feeding the inmate.
Isowo who through the activities of the centre secured the release of many prisoners said they are set to release six prisoners from the Suleja prison and wished the press could come and cover the process leading to the release.
Isowo also said the Centre among other things helps prisoners live normal life and see that the deprived don’t just end up in detention center.
He said that the Centre train youth in skill acquisition to get them empowered economically and also engage in skills deployment for those who have skills but could not deploy it for one reason or the order.
On what made him to establish the centre, Mr. Isowo said that his hatred for injustice in the society made him to embark on the project to enable him help people of different background have access to justice.
He said he was of the conviction that everybody should be a solution in his way and that made him to strive in making people to achieve their destiny by having access to justice.
Isowo however, appealed to good spirited Nigerians, donor agencies and Faith Based Organization to support the centre as he has the plan to extend to other prisons in the states with available fund been provided.