NGO wants chief judges to visit prisons on quarterly basis




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IBADAN – A Non-Governmental Organisation, the Centre for Justice, Mercy and Reconciliation, has appealed to chief  judges in  states to visit prisons on quarterly basis to reduce prison congestion.

The organisation’s President, Mr  Hezekiah Olujobi,  made the appeal in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Ibadan on Monday.

The NGO  is engaged in advocacy for ex-convicts in order to reintegrate them back into the  society.

Olujobi said that the Chief Justice of  Nigeria should mandate the  judges to visit prisons  on quarterly basis in order  to fast track the release of inmates.[eap_ad_2]

“They should visit prisons and determine those whose detention is  manifestly unlawful.

“They should also determine those who have  been incarcerated for longer periods than they would have stayed if convicted for the alleged offence for which they were detained.

“Whenever chief judges visit prisons,  they don’t usually visit those who are charged with criminal offences.

“It is, however,  clear that not all those charged with criminal offences really committed a  crime,” he said.

He  cited  indiscriminate arrests, unnecessary litigation as well as unending adjournments as   causes of  prison congestion.

Olujobi said a research study carried out   indicated that the adverse  conditions in prison environment have  a negative effect on ex-convicts.

 “There is need for government at all levels and the judiciary  to put in place well equipped rehabilitation centres for  ex-convicts.

“High Court judges should also give criminal cases before them  priority by identifying the bottlenecks in  each case and bringing  them  to a logical conclusion,’’ Olujobi said. (NAN)[eap_ad_3]