THE leadership of Hospital and Prison Welfare Initiative (HPWI) has called on the federal and state governments to, as a matter of urgency, de-congest the correctional centres, owing to COVID-19.
As a result, the group urged President Muhammadu Buhari to order the release of minors under the age of 18 years from the federal correctional centres.
The group said in the declaration of war on prison congestion, “we are calling the Nigeria President, Muhammadu Buhari to release a circular through the Comptroller-General of Correctional Centres for the release of minors under the age of 18years”.
The group, in a statement by its founder, Dr. Rev. Nathaniel Oyinloye, also said government need to do more to support individuals not convicted, but awaiting trial during COVID-19.
“We (HPWI) as an organisation believed that enough is not being done to support individuals, not convicted but awaiting trials, during this COVID-19′
“As a result, we are calling on the President of the Republic of Nigeria, President Muhammadu Buhari and the governors of the 36 States in Nigeria, to declare “war on the De-Congestion of the Nigeria Correctional Services (Prisons),” it said.
It also called on the 36 state governments to follow suit by releasing vulnerable people, who have not committed any capital offence and are merely awaiting trial.