By Wando Sombo
The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has commenced its 2016 audit of prisons and detention facilities in the country beginning with the prison in Awka.
This is contained in a statement by Fatimah Mohammed, the commission’s Chief Information Officer, and made available to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Tuesday.
Mohammed said the audit was in line with the commission’s mandate to visit prisons and other detention centres in the country,
She said the audit was informed by the spate of jailbreaks across the country, adding that it would be carried out simultaneously in the 23 states and the FCT where the commission has offices.
“The prison audit will examine the general condition of the prison inmates, the prison officials and prison infrastructure and make appropriate recommendations to the authorities.
“The audit will particularly examine the access to justice issues and welfare of both awaiting trial inmates and convicts and make appropriate recommendations to stakeholders,” she said.
The commission’s spokesperson further said that the audit would be followed by a national prison conference to examine the issue of human rights of prison inmates and the challenges of security in the prisons.
Mohammed said that it was expected that the outcome of the audit and conference would help to proffer solutions to the current spate of jailbreaks in the prisons.
NAN recalls that the Civil Defence, Fire, Immigration and Prisons Services Board (CDFIPB) had at its emergency meeting held on Thursday Aug. 11, 2016, approved the dismissal of three senior Prisons officers serving in Kuje Medium Security prison.
The board also dismissed three other senior officers serving in Koton Karfe prison for their complicity in the escape of prisoners from the respective prisons.
The dismissal letters dated Aug.12 were signed by the Secretary to the Board Alhaji A A Ibrahim.
NAN recalls that four incidences of jailbreak were reported across the country in less than two months.