Lawlessness of Nigerian Govt Responsible for Prisons Congestion – Fayose
Ekiti State Governor, Ayodele Fayose has blamed the current problem of congestion in the nation’s prisons on the arbitrariness of the Federal Government and its law enforcement agencies.
The Nation reports that Fayose argued that prisons in the country were over populated because Federal Government agencies like the Nigeria Police Force (NPF), Department of State Services (DSS) and the Economic Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) arrest and detain innocent citizens and perceived opponents of the Federal Government for flimsy reasons and on malicious, spurious and unfounded allegations.
The governor canvassed this argument in his response to a letter by the National Security Adviser (NSA), Major General Babagana Monguno (rtd), with reference number NSA/601/A and dated January 16, 2017, requesting his (Fayose’s) assistance in facilitating quick decongestion of the nation’s prisons.
Monguno had, in the letter, argued that the problem of prison congestion by awaiting trial suspects and convicts has negatively hampered the administration of justice in the country.
Fayose noted, in his response, that many Nigerians were currently languishing in prison without any reprieve, “because of the trumped-up charges of heinous offences preferred against them by these agencies”.
Copies of his response were addressed to President Muhammadu Buhari and the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF), Abubakar Malami (SAN).
Fayose said: “Specifically, the controversial arrests and continued detention of Messers Nnamdi Kanu, Col. Sambo Dasuki (Rtd) and Ibrahim El-Zakyzaky among several others, and the flagrant disregard and disobedience to court orders directing their release from prison by security and law enforcement agencies are not only unjust, immoral and detestable but constitute an affront to the rule of law and a rape on democracy.”
He urged the office of the NSA “to critically appraise the nefarious activities of the security and law enforcement agencies which not only constitute an infraction of the fundamental rights of the affected citizens, guaranteed under the constitution, but also directly contribute to the perennial prisons congestion”.
“Your inaction or failure to address the above-mentioned acts of Executive rascality and lawlessness will definitely undermine and belie your sincere concern and genuine commitment to the decongestion of the prisons as stated in your letter.
“It is, therefore, my candid advice that your office should urgently intimate appropriate authorities with the need to henceforth lead by example, by respecting the rule of law, eschewing all forms of arbitrary discriminatory and dictatorial practices and disobedience to Court orders.
“It is my believe that your prompt action in the above regard, may help to correct the growing public perception that the Federal Government is selective in its observance of the rule of law and is partial in its so-called anti-corruption crusade.”
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