LEDAP charges FG, correctional service on inmates protection over covid-19
Legal Defence and Assistance Project (LEDAP) has called on the Federal Government and the Nigerian Correctional Services (NCS) across the nation to take urgent and immediate measures in protecting inmates across all correctional centers from covid–19.
The group warned that individuals and communities are now overwhelmed by the exponential rise in cases of infected persons and more importantly, the number of deaths recorded, adding that Nigeria has currently a record of confirmed 81 cases and one death as at March 27, 2020.
“It is also common knowledge that correctional centers and detention facilities in Nigeria are overcrowded, unsanitary, and suffer from a lack of resources and there lies the big challenge in the likelihood of an inmate contacting this virus and spreading it.
“Prison reform experts are of the view that these correctional facilities are at a higher risk of contracting and passing on the virus if exposed to the virus due to a lack of hygiene in crowded cells,” the group said in a statement endorsed by its national coordinator, Chinonye Obiagwu (SAN).
Consequently, LEDAP urged and placed a clarion call on the Federal Government and the NCS to take urgent and adequate measures in protecting prisoners and prison staff from covid-19.
“This should be happening alongside a complete ban on prison visits, ensuring the provision of and easy access to sanitary needs of inmates as well as medical personnel in place to check and attend to inmates promptly.
“Our criminal justice system must creatively and consciously commit to the safety and survival of persons in conflict with the law as we collectively look forward to overcoming this global tragedy,” LEDAP said.