2018 National Human Rights Commission || Press Release

AS NIGERIA MARKS AFRICAN PRETRIAL DETENTION DAY; NHRC SEEKS BETTER TREATMENT FOR DETAINEES

Posted: 2019-04-25


The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) will continue to highlight and push for reforms and best practices in the Nigerian Criminal Justice System to ensure that crime suspects are treated in line with international best practices.

Executive Secretary of the Commission, Tony Ojukwu Esq stated this at Kuje Prison, Abuja Thursday as the Commission commemorates the 2019 African Pretrial Detention Day across the Federation.

The African Pretrial Detention Day is observed across the continent on the 25th of April every year as initiated by the African Commission on Human and Peoples Right, ACHPR. The focus of this year's celebration is on the Principles of Decriminalization of Petty Offences in Africa.

The Executive Secretary who was represented at the occasion by his Special Assistance, Mr. Benedict Agu said that this year's theme, "Decriminalization of Petty Offences in Africa" is apt given the urgent need to declassify minor offenses like loitering, being idle or disorderly and the likes in the Criminal Justice System, considering the overcrowded condition of prisons in Africa.

According to the Executive Secretary, the rights of access to Justice of Nigerian citizens and Africans at large is very critical as those who come in conflict with the law should not be dehumanized during the process of their arrest, detention or trial.

In his remarks, the Comptroller General of Prisons, Mr. Ja'afaru Ahmed represented by Comptroller of Prisons (CP), FCT Command Mr. S.N. Nwakuche said that the Prisons will continue to discharge their mandate of ensuring the safety, security and wellbeing of inmates across the nation, despite myriad of challenges confronting the service.

The Deputy Comptroller of Prison DCP Innocent Onoja who is also in charge of Kuje Prison said that diligent prosecution of suspects will go a long way to check prison congestion.

Some of the inmates of Kuje Prison, particularly those who were accused of minor offenses like loitering in the night were interviewed by the Officials of the Commission. They were accordingly advised on the necessary steps to take in order to secure their freedom.

The ceremony is marked with visitations to Prisons across the 36 States of the Federation and Abuja by staff of the Commission.

Mr. Lambert Oparah

Director Corporate Affairs & External Linkages, NHRC.


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