The Federal Government of Nigeria will soon reopen the 32 prisons that were closed in the northeast when Boko Haram terrorists invaded them, the Controller-General of Prisons, Ja’afaru Ahmed has disclosed.
The newly appointed Prisons boss who made this known while addressing senior officers of the Nigeria Prisons Service (NPS) at the Service headquarters in Abuja on Tuesday, said the move was part of reforms being carried out in the Prisons Service by the government.
“49 of our officers were killed when our prisons were attacked in Mubi, Meha, Damaturu and various other places in the northeast and well over 32 prisons were closed but very soon, we intend to reopen those prisons for operation because of relative peace and stability that have been restored in the northeast.
“We also intend to rehabilitate most of the prisons that were destroyed as a result of the insurgency in the northeast”, he said.
Ahmed who disclosed that no fewer than 65,000 inmates were presently in prisons custody, lamented that 72% of them were still awaiting trial.
“This situation is unacceptable and must be changed at all cost if our reformation and rehabilitation mandate must be achieved”, he maintained.
The Prisons CG therefore, vowed to intensive relationships with the office of the Attorney General and Minister of Justice as well as the Inspector General of Police towards addressing the menace.
He also called for the adoption of the non-custodial sentencing options in line with provisions of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act (ACJA) 2015 in order to reduce inmates population as well as financial burden on the state among others.
Meanwhile, the Prisons boss has clarify news making the rounds that the federal government spends N14,000 daily to feed each inmate, nothing that “government approved the feeding of prisoners as N450 per inmate daily and it is not N14, 000.”
He said though, the said amount was not provided for in the 2015 budget, the arrears and this year’s expenses have been captured in the 2016 budget.