Group Sues FG Over Electrocuted Inmates
By Olamide Fadoju
A non-governmental organisation, Prisoners Right Advocacy Initiative(PRAI) has sued the Federal Government of Nigeria over the electrocution of five inmates at the Ikoyi Medium Security Custodial Centre, Lagos
Executive director, PRAI , Ahmed Kazeem revealed this in a chat with Wemimo Adewuni and Sheriff Quadri on Nigeria Info FM Programme, Morning Crossfire.
According to Kazeem, the suit will initially focus on overcrowding in prisons which he believes was largely responsible for the unfortunate incident.
He stressed how efforts to decongest prisons have been frustrated countless times in the past.
“The suit is to ensure that we stem this tide of overcrowding because it is endemic. This electrocution is just what we are seeing. We are not talking about diseases or the health status of some of the inmates.
“It is not the first time we have laws and committee set up. It has always been like that in the last 20years. Unfortunately, the more laws we have, the more committees we have, the more inmates we have too.
“Before passing into law the Administration of Criminal Justice Act (ACJA), we had about 65,000 inmates in prison with 70 per cent awaiting trial. Now that number has skyrocketed into about 72 thousand four years after ACJA.”
While detailing the suit filed against the government, Kazeem said decongestion of prisons is a priority and compensation for victims will come later.
“We are asking the court to order those in charge to follow suit with the provision of ACJA. We have lost at least five inmates; they could be more because we know that a number of them were in a coma.”
“From the suit, we are asking that there should be the construction of more prisons. There should be the implementation of provisions of various acts which seeks to decongest the prison.
The report says No fewer than five inmates were feared killed, while 10 others sustained injuries of various degrees following electrocution from a loosed electric cable inside the Ikoyi Correctional Centre in Lagos.
Superintendent of Prisons, Lagos State Command, Rotimi Oladokun who spoke with Nigeria info said the Correctional service is in a mourning state and assured that the unfortunate incident will be looked into with appropriate lessons learnt and appropriate actions taken.