No More “Hard Labour” in Nigerian Prisons, Now “Prison Labour” – Senate

Members of the Nigerian Senate have removed hard labour from Nigerian Prisons Act, pointing out that it was inherited from the colonial masters.

The Nigerian Senate recommended that ‘hard labour,’ according to Section (8)1, is “an inheritance from colonial era and should be deleted and replaced with Prison Labour.” The Senate also recommended a bill for an Act to repeal the Prisons Act Cap. 129 Laws, 2004 and enact the Nigerian Prisons and Correctional Service. The senators could, however, try and expatiate on what they mean by “prison labour”.

These decisions came following the amendment of the Prison Act carried out by Senate Committee on Interior, which was headed by Senator Atiku Bagudu, who also solicited for the accommodation of the Nigeria Prisons reform in the Subsidy Re-investment Empowerment Programme (SURE-P).

Finally, members of the Senate might also want to look into the situation whereby prisoners spend months – even years – in Nigerian prisons before their trials; that is if they survive long enough to face the trials. This is indeed a worrisome issue.

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