The motion sponsor said correctional centers across the country house more inmates than they are built to accommodate.
To address the overcrowded state of correctional centers across the country, the House of Representatives has called for the assessment and rehabilitation of offenders.
The House also directed the Federal Ministry of the Interior to rehabilitate and decongest Nigeria’s correctional centers.
These resolutions are contained in a motion on the “Decongestion of Correctional Service Centres in Nigeria,” sponsored by Rep. Chinedu Ogah (APC, Ebonyi).
In his debate, Ogah noted that the Nigeria Correctional Service Centers is currently housing over 70,000 inmates, although it is designed to accommodate only 50,000 inmates, a situation he said is overstretching the dilapidated facilities.
He added that most inmates in correctional centers are serving time without having been prosecuted or convicted, which has contributed to the congestion.
“The deplorable state of the centers puts the health and safety of the inmates at great risk, violates their fundamental right to humane treatment, dignity, and fair and speedy trial, and, most importantly, undermines the effectiveness of rehabilitation programmes.
“The improved implementation of the criminal justice system and adoption of non-custodial measures would help decongest national prisons,” he stated.
In adopting the motion, the House also charged the ministry to address both short-term and long-term challenges and make provisions for this project in the 2024 budget estimates.
It further directed the National Human Rights Commission to conduct independent assessments of correctional centres, and its compliance with global standards and human rights principles.