Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Nigeria & United Kingdom to Swap Prison Inmates

Nigeria and the United Kingdom have reached an understanding to begin a prison swap programme. This would be launched as soon as Nigeria signs its Prison Act into law.
The Chairman Senate Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters, Senator Dahiru Tambuwal said this on Monday at the flag-off of 2012 prison audit by the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) in Kuje Prison.
The Senator said funds for the programme, which the United Kingdom is willing to provide, would be used to renovate prisons so as to make the facilities habitable enough and kept at least to meet minimum world standard to accommodate inmates. The United Kingdom, he added, has promised to provide money to fund the process of prison inmates’ exchange.
Senator Tambuwal said that the Bill seeking the amendment of the Prison Act has gone through the second reading and would be finally passed by the senate in two weeks, after which the Prison swap process can begin.
“The process to evolve a new prison law has gone beyond the second reading as we are now looking at it clause-by-clause,” Daily Times quoted him as saying. “It is expected that in about two weeks, the process would have been completed and the amendment effected.”
The Senator did not give details of the Prison swap programme in the news report. This is what I am even more curious about. Are they bringing British prisoners serving time to Nigerian Prisons and taking Nigerian prisoners abroad? Or would it be a situation where Nigerian prisoners serving time in the UK would be brought to the renovated prisons here in Nigeria in order to decongest their own prisons? What is the whole essence of the Prison Swap programme? What benefits does it hold for the Nigerian and UK government?
Any thoughts?
Photo Credit: CNN

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