By Mohammad Ibrahim
Kaduna (Nigeria) – Governor of Kaduna State, Northwest Nigeria, Nasir El-Rufai Friday says Governors have received presidential directives to decongest prisons in their respective states across the country.
According to him, the practice of keeping awaiting trial inmates on minor offences in the prison for too long is injustice.
Governor El-Rufai disclosed this when he paid a courtesy call to Kaduna Convict Prison in the state.
He explained that his administration will improve skills and vocational training within and outside the prison to create job for youths.
El-Rufai after touring the congested prison added that he will work with the Prisons Authority to reduce the number of inmates, particularly those awaiting trials.
“It is injustice for a person to be kept for a long time in the prison on a minor offence and awaiting trial. So our president Muhammadu Buhari directed all governors to visit prisons to find a way of decongesting them.
“So my visit here is to obey our leader, President Muhammadu Buhari who is very interested in justice. So with the Presidential directive, the state executive will work closely with the judiciary to decongest the prisons.
“We are particularly interested in improving the state of training and vocational facilities within the prisons and expand that to outside the prison. We believe acquisition of skill is very important, not only to create job but also to reduce the rate of crime,” he said.
The State Prisons Controller, Abubakar Garba said Kaduna Convict Prison was established in 1915 with capacity of 547 inmates.
“The prison presently houses over 1,000 inmates, including 114 condemned criminals.” he said.
The Prison Controller solicited for assistance from the state government in the area of logistics, saying that, the prison has only two functional ‘Green Marias’, while two are grounded.
The Chief Judge of the State Justice Tijjani Zailani gave assurance that the judiciary will cooperate with the state executive to achieve its goals.