72% of inmates in Nigerian prisons are awaiting trials. – NBS

According to data obtained from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), 72.53% of inmates in prisons across the country are not sentenced.

The prison report released January 19, 2017, by the NBS gives an overview of detainees awaiting sentencing and overall prison population by state and year from 2011 to 2015.

Lagos state, the commercial and entertainment nerve centre of Nigeria, had the highest number of detainees awaiting sentencing.

The state recorded 5,603 un-sentenced detainees out of a prison population of 6,522, followed by Rivers and Edo states with 3,625 and 2,434 un-sentenced detainees.

Yobe and Borno states, on the other hand, had 163 and 216 un-sentenced detainees respectively, representing the least in the country.

Both states have a total prison population of 562 and 603 respectively.

Out of the 36 states, Lagos had the highest prison population in the country with 6,522 inmates, followed by Kano and Rivers states with populations of 4,082 and 4,054 respectively.

The total prison population in the country for 2015 was 62,260 as against 56, 059 in 2014.

The increase in prison population in 2015 represents about 11.06% growth from the previous year.

The problem of prison congestion in Nigeria is largely fueled by the high number of people awaiting trial.

Order killing of death row inmates now, Judge tells Nigerian governors

A judge has urged state governors to sign the death warrant of over 1,600 inmates on death sentence in order to decongest the prisons.

The Chief Judge of Delta State, Marshal Umukoro, spoke on Wednesday in Ibadan during the 2017 Aquinas’ Day colloquium of Dominican Institute.

At the lecture titled “The Judiciary and Criminal Justice System: Odds and Ends,” Mr. Umukoro said that recent statistics from the National Human Rights Commission, NHRC, indicated that no fewer than 1,612 inmates are on death sentence in Nigeria prisons.

The chief judge said that signing the death warrant would reduce prison congestion, and served as deterrent to others.

Local and international organisations such have Amnesty international have repeatedly called for the abolition of the death penalty. Death penalty is however still legal in Nigeria where it can used to punish people convicted of crimes like murder and armed robbery.

Last week, a court in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital, sentenced a man to death for stealing a motorcycle, phone, and some money from a victim who he also inflected serious body injuries on.

Before executions can be carried out, however, the death sentence but be approved by the state governor where the judgement was issued. Some state governors, however, use their prerogative to commute the death sentences to prison terms.

On Wednesday, the Delta State chief judge also called for synergy between the police, prisons and the courts in order to boost justice administration.

“Some criminal cases have been hanging without progress for over a year in some courts due to transfer of Investigative Police Officer (IPO) or as a result of IPO going on short course.

“Some courts too do not cooperate with the police and the prison to expeditiously dispose of criminal cases.

“This does not only lead to unnecessary waste of time, but also greatly affects the disposition of the accused person and the witnesses who look forward to seeing the end of the case,’’ the chief judge said.

Mr. Umukoro said that more fora should be organised from time to time with the aim of sensitising various relevant stakeholders in the criminal justice sector on the need for mutual co-operation.

 

Source: Premium Times

Rats To Screen Inmates For Tuberculosis

Scientists in East Africa are planning to exploit trained rats’ highly developed sense of smell to carry out mass screening for tuberculosis among inmates of crowded prisons in Tanzania and Mozambique.

Health officials noted on Friday in Dar Es Salaam that this has became imperative because in Tanzania, people in communities where tuberculosis is most common, including prisons, often fail to show up for screening due to paucity of funds or awareness.

“Tuberculosis is the leading cause of death, after HIV, from an infectious disease around the world.

“The WHO data shows that there are about 9 million new cases a year and around 2 million deaths,” they said.

They said this is creating a huge burden for health authorities trying to tackle the disease.

The health official said because existing systems lack the accuracy, speed and cost-efficiency required scaling up screening of the highly contagious disease, many TB cases go undiagnosed.

They disclosed that to achieve this, African Giant Pouched Rats trained by the Belgian non-governmental organisation “APOPO”, widely known for their work sniffing out landmines, are now developing a reputation in East Africa for their skill and speed at detecting TB too.

Charlie Richter, APOPO’s U.S. Director, said with funding from the United States Agency for International Development, plans were underway to recruit and train more rats to carry out prison screening.

He said the system is faster and more reliable than existing methods.

“We believe our unique TB Detection Rat technology will prove itself as an effective mass-screening tool.

“We then aim to expand the programme to all prisons, shantytowns, factories and other settings in Tanzania, Mozambique and other high TB-burden countries, as well as in high-risk groups such as those individuals living with HIV/AIDS.

“This will improve and save lives all over the globe at a low cost,” he said.

Credit: Punch

Kuje Prison Inmates Jubilate As Badeh Joins Them; Rejects Prison Food

The presence of a former Chief of Defence Staff, Air Chief Marshal, Alex Badeh (retd.) in Kuje Prison, Abuja, has generated excitement and curiosity among the inmates.

It was learnt that the inmates were amazed to see the former military chief in prison custody barely one year after his image loomed large across the nation.

SUNDAY PUNCH gathered on Saturday that the former CDS rejected food from the prison and opted to feed himself pending the time he would perfect his bail conditions.

It was learnt that Badeh was keeping a low profile in prison custody. A source said on getting to
prison, his bio-data and other important details were taken before he was escorted to the prison officer’s office and allocated a cell.

He was said to have opted to feed himself, an indulgence that is granted all awaiting trial inmates.

“An inmate can reject prison food and sign for self-feeding, meaning he would provide his own food, his family members and friends can bring food for him daily, subject to the approval of the prison authorities,” an official who spoke on condition of anonymity said.

It was learnt that Badeh’s rejection of the prison food may not be unconnected with the poor quality of the food served inmates in Nigerian prisons.

The Comptroller-General of the Nigeria Prisons Service, Peter Ezenwa amazed the nation last month when he said that a paltry sum of N222.30k was budgeted by the service to feed each inmate per day.

Ezenwa who stated this when he appeared before the House of Representatives Committee on Interior to defend the Prison Service’s 2016 budget warned of a possible revolt if things continued this way.

He stated that the service made a proposal of N10.6 billion for the feeding allowance of 65,000 inmates, but that the Federal Government slashed it to N5.2 billion.

Chairman of the Senate Committee on Interior, Senator Usman Nafada however contended that each inmate was being fed on N130 per day.

“N200 per inmate per day is unacceptable. If you look at it, you are actually feeding each inmate with N130 per day. When you remove Value Added Tax, contractors’ profit and other corporate services, the N200 comes to about N130 to feed one inmate in a day. It is inhuman to feed a human being with N130 per day. What can anybody use N130 to buy? With N130, no inmate can come out of the prison better,” he said.

The NPS Public Relations Officer, Francis Enobore, could not be reached for comments on how Badeh is taking prison life, as he did not respond to telephone calls and an SMS sent to him.

Badeh was remanded in prison custody on March 7 by Justice Okon Abang of the Federal High Court, Abuja, following his arraignment along with a company, Iyalikam Nigeria Limited, on 10 counts of money laundering.

The judge had last Thursday granted Badeh bail in the sum of N2bn, which is to be guaranteed by two sureties in the sum of N1bn each.

Among other bail conditions imposed on Badeh, the judge ordered the ex-CDS to deposit both his blue and green passports with the court throughout the period of his trial.

Meanwhile, a lawyer to the former CDS, Mr. Samuel Zibiri (SAN), told SUNDAY PUNCH on Saturday that the two sureties the court mandated his client to produce had been secured and their details as well as the Certificates of Occupancy for their respective landed assets had been forwarded to the Chief Registrar for verification.

He said the ex-CDS should be out of prison by Monday.

Source: Punch

Photos From Miss Criminal 2015 Beauty Pageant

One of the toughest women prisons in the world played host to the annual Miss Criminal 2015 beauty pageant .It was held at the Talavera Bruce women’s prison in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.This year’s winner was 27 year old Michelle Neri Rangel
She has been behind bars since 2010, when she was sentenced to 39 years for robbery – with an additional six years added on for prostitution inside the prison.

The women try on different dresses, have their makeup and hair styled by volunteers and even perform catwalk poses in the Miss World-style contest.The contest aims to boost the self-esteem of female inmates and is supported by community and church groups.

Images-UK Mirror

No Boko Haram Inmates In Ebonyi- Gov. Umahi

Gov. Dave Umahi, has dismissed media reports that Boko Haram members relocated from Ekwulobia Prisons in Anambra State were transferred to Ebonyi State.

Umahi’s Chief Press Secretary, Emma Anya, yesterday disclosed how the governor made dramatic phone calls based on the re­ports only to find out that the news was false.

“We read with utter dis­gust, stories by two na­tional dailies that there was panic in Ebonyi State over rumoured transfer of some Boko Haram inmates from Ekwulobia Prisons in Anam­bra to Abakaliki Prisons.

“His Excellency, the Gov­ernor of Ebonyi State, David Umahi, is surprised that al­most 48 hours after he ad­dressed a live press confer­ence denying the rumour, newspapers still went ahead to publish falsehood.”

Credit: SunOnline

Prison Break Frees 200 Inmates in Minna

Gunmen broke into a prison in the central Nigerian city of Minna, freeing around 200 inmates. A police spokesman and security sources said the gunmen stormed the facility late on Saturday in Niger state, near to the capital Abuja.

Islamist sect Boko Haram and al Qaeda-linked group Ansaru have been behind several prison raids in recent years, although it was unclear whether they had anything to do with this one. One of the security sources said it’s unclear if this is Boko Haram or some criminal gangs.