Lawyer explains easiest ways to decongest prisons

Tina Amanda

A Human Rights Advocate in Rivers state, Barrister Nathaniel Akporuvweku, has urged the Judiciary not to impose stringent bail terms on suspects with bailable offences in order to decongest the Correctional Facilities.

Akporuvweku who disclosed this during an interview with our correspondent Tina Amanda said suspects who are not facing serious charges such as felony and other capital offences should be granted bail.

According to him, thousands of inmates are awaiting trial, their cases are not been mentioned in court on daily basis.

He also stressed that suspects who are not facing capital punishment offences should be granted bail freely in order for them to come from home to answer their cases.

“There are ways in which the Correctional Facilities can operate. It is not every suspect that must stay in prison all through their trial period. Those suspects who are not charged for felony or murder can be granted bail freely for minor cases.

“Suspects with such minor cases should be made to come from home to answer their cases, at the end of the trial, if found guilty, they can be held in prison facilities, not for a simple offence, suspects are in prison custody for two to three years due to stringent bail conditions.

“What I think will decongest the prisons is for the court not to impose hard terms of bail condition that will be difficult for suspects or whoever stand as surety for them to meet. These are some of the reasons some suspects are still in prison custody for a longer period than necessary because they have not been able to meet the bail terms.

“There are thousands of inmates awaiting trial, whose cases are not called in court on daily basis, so I think the judiciary and the Correctional Facilities need to look into this issue with all form of seriousness”