National Chairman of Abundant Nigeria Renewal Party (ANRP), Mr. Tope Fasua, has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to turn down offer by the United Kingdom to build a £700,000 new wing in Kirikiri, Lagos Prison. Fasua said Nigeria should emulate the rejection of similar offer from UK by Jamaica in January 2017. The National Chairman of ANRP maintained that contrary to the claim of British Foreign Secretary, Boris Johnson, the prison deal would not be of any benefit to Nigeria.
Fasua noted that most prisons in the country are overcrowded, with most of them housing five times above the numbers of inmates they should accommodate. He added that the same fate would befall the one to be constructed by UK as members of the political class, especially governors, are happy to have almost anyone incarcerated at will. Fasua recommended that the government should rather work at decongesting the prisons and reform of the judicial system to reduce number of persons being sent to prison.
In a statement issued to newsmen on Sunday, Fasua said: “There should be non-custodial sentences like fines for minor offences especially for first time offenders. Prosecution can be done more diligently. Trials can be sped up especially with the use of technology, prisons should be expanded and refurbished. Depending on the charge, persons who have been in remand for periods of time long enough to be their prison terms should be rehabilitated and set free.” “Had we a functional law enforcement, justice system, and correctional systems our prisons would not be crowded and not fail to meet the required standards, and therefore there would be no need for the UK to build a prison in Nigeria. Correcting these anomalies is what the UK can put pressure on Nigeria’s leaders to do.
“ANRP is opposed to the beggarly attitude of collecting aid, abdicating responsibility and asking others to solve our problems instead of solving our own problems with dignity. “We cannot keep collecting aid and loans from foreigners whilst our leaders at home are the most ostentatious in the world living large on our collective commonwealth. They (political leaders) lack sensitivity and shame, they have become dependent on loans and handouts. It is a great wonder where our export proceeds, taxes, and recovered monies go to because it looks like we are now totally bankrupt.”