COVID-19: Release minors from prisons now, HPWI tasks Buhari, Governors

An appeal has gone to the Federal and State governments, to declare war on congestion of prisons, especially with the ravaging coronavirus pandemic.

The Hospital and Prison Welfare Initiative (HPWI), which made the call yesterday, through a statement, called on President Muhammadu Buhari to immediately order the release of minors under the age of 18 years from all federal prisons in the country.

They also called on governors to follow suit by releasing all vulnerable people who have not committed any capital offence and are merely awaiting trial.

Founder of the group, Dr. Rev. Nathaniel Oyinloye, said: “We are calling on President Mohammadu Buhari to release a circular through the General Controller of Prisons for the release of minors under the age of 18 years from all Federal Prisons in Nigeria.”

He said the government needs to do more to support individuals not convicted but awaiting trial during this COVID-19 era.

“We as an organisation believed that enough is not done to support individuals not convicted but awaiting trials during this COVID-19.

“As a result, we are calling on the President and Governors of the 36 states, to declare “War on the De-Congestion of the Nigeria Correctional Services (Prisons).

“We are also calling on the Governors to release every vulnerable men and woman in custody who have not committed capital offences that are awaiting trials,” he said.


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Oladele Akinsuyi

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