Senate Adopts Ekwunife’s Motion Upgrade, Decongesting and Disinfecting Correctional Centers Nationwide

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The Nigerian Senate on Tuesday resolved to upgrade, decongest and disinfect correctional centers nationwide. This was done while addressing a motion moved by the Senator representing Anambra Central Senatorial District, Senator Uche Ekwunife.

Senator Uche Ekwunife

Senator Uche Ekwunife

Moving the motion, Senator Ekwunife expressed worry that of the 74,000 inmates in the correctional centers only 24,000 are convicted, while the remaining 50,000 are awaiting trials, with facilities meant for about 800 inmates being forced to hold 4,000 inmates.

“These congestions have over the years been responsible for outbreak of diseases in our correctional centers, orchestrated also by poor medical facilities. God forbid, if epidemic such as Corona virus or lasser fever outbreak should occur in these centers, it will be totally uncontrollable and a national disaster which can spread out into the general public”.

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Ekwunife further expressed concern that although our Prisons have been given the new name ‘’Correctional Centers’’, they are so by names only, and are in no way near the standards of Correctional Centers anywhere in the world. “In many instances, first offenders are lumped up with hardened criminals. This singular act has virtually turned what should have been a Correctional Center into places where new criminal gangs are formed”.

She accordingly prayed the Senate to urge the Nigeria Correctional Services to adequately profile inmates and separate them accordingly to avoid lumping of light/first offenders with hardened criminals. They should also as a matter of urgency, undertake a National clean up and fumigation of all correctional facilities in the country to avoid outbreak of epidemics. She further prayed the Senate to urge the Ministry of Interior to commence the process of upgrading our prisons facilities to truly transform them into correctional centers.

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