Buhari Directs Governors To Decongest Prisons: Focus On Many Awaiting Trial For Years

Midat Joseph

President Muhammadu Buhari has directed state governors across the country to ensure the reduction of the number of prison inmates in their various states.

Kaduna State Governor Malam Nasir el-Rufai, who disclosed this while on a working visit to the Kaduna convict prison, said the president’s directive was in the spirit of decongesting the prisons across the country.

El-Rufai said, “Our leader, President Muhammadu Buhari, has directed all governors to visit prisons and ensure that we reduce to the barest minimum those that have spent many years awaiting trial in our courts.

“It is injustice for a person to be kept for a long time in the name of awaiting trial. This is why President Buhari directed all governors to undertake such visits so that, working together with the Ministry of Justices and the Prison authorities, we’ll ensure we do something about it.”

He assured that the state government, despite its financial challenges, would do its best to ensure that the people prison for wrong reasons and are awaiting trial get justice.

Receiving the governor, the state controller of prison, Mr. Abubakar Garba, noted that the convict prison, established in 1915 with the capacity of 547, is now housing over 1,000 inmates.

Disclosing that about 114 inmates were condemned criminals, with 11 of them citizens of Kaduna State, he appealed to the governor to commute the death sentences of 11 inmates of Kaduna State origin to life imprisonment. He also revealed that the prison had only two functional vans for conveying about 800 awaiting trial inmates, which he said, portends danger to people of the state.