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Cleric seeks alternative dispute resolution measures to decongest prisons

By Nkechi Onyedika-Ugoeze, Abuja
26 June 2022   |   2:43 am
A cleric, Pastor Ayodele Adewale of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG), City of David Parish, Abuja, has urged the Federal Government to adopt alternative dispute resolution mechanisms

A cleric, Pastor Ayodele Adewale of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG), City of David Parish, Abuja, has urged the Federal Government to adopt alternative dispute resolution mechanisms, especially for minor offences to decongest correctional centres across the country.

Speaking during a prison evangelism outreach at the facilities in Kuje, Gwagwalada, and Suleija, Adewale said correctional centres were overcrowded because of awaiting trial inmates, adding that “it is difficult to quickly dispense cases because there are a few courts in the country.”

He said: “Of the 70,797 inmates in Nigeria’s correctional centres, 70 per cent are on awaiting trial. The provision for community service and probation included in the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, 2015, are yet to be implemented in the country.

“Government needs to look at a way of using other dispute resolution mechanisms in settling some issues so that minor offences can be resolved outside the courts. This congestion is causing the few courts to overwork as both magistrates and judges are humans.”

Speaking at the Suleja Correctional Centre, another pastor, Ademola Adeleke said: “We came to identify with you and to let you know that we love you and are praying for you. You are here for corrections. You are not condemned. We trust God that one day you will regain your freedom.”

The church donated food items and other essential commodities to the inmates.