Senate has ordered the suspension of the ongoing prison decongestion programme under the supervision of the Federal Ministry of Justice owing to poor handling of over eight billion naira earmarked for the programme and be handed over with immediate effect to the Legal Aid council .
This resolution was reached following the adoption of the report of the Joint Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters, Interior and Police Affairs on the plight of persons awaiting trials in Nigerian prisons.
Presenting the report, Chairman of the Joint Committee, Senator Umaru Dahiru said the move will be more suitable to quickly address the unbearable congestion in Nigerian prisons,
The committee also recommended that the Chief Justice of Nigeria through the National Judicial Council should encourage Chief Judges of States and Federal Capital Territory, FCT, to review cases of awaiting trial detainees monthly.
In his contribution, Senator James Manager complained that prisons built during the colonial days are yet to be expanded proportionate with the growing population in the country, adding that despite the growing numbers of citizen yearly, prison is still in the exclusive legislative list instead of the concurrent list.
In his ruling, Senate President David Mark expressed hope that the recommendations of the committee are implemented by the executive while advocating for proper rehabilitation programme for prison imates in order to make them better citizens when they complete their sentences.