By Stanley Nwanosike
The Catholic Diocese of Enugu, on Thursday, urged the Federal Government to back the amended Nigerian Prisons Law with provision of adequate facilities for reformation of inmates.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that President Muhammadu Buhari, on Wednesday, signed the new Nigerian Prisons Service amended bill into law which changed the name to Nigerian Correctional Service.
In the amended law, the Nigerian Correctional Service facilities nationwide would be governed by policies and programmes meant for correction and re-integration of offenders back to the society.
The Director of Communication in the Diocese, Rev. Fr. Benjamin Achi, told NAN in Enugu that the new name sounded good and nice but the bottom line would be having all the new policies and programmes functional.
Achi said that the diocese had been in the forefront of appealing to the Federal Government to give the now correctional service human face and make it a true reformatory centre.
“It is not changing nomenclature or name that matters; but doing the needful, which is well known to the government.
“Over the years, the Catholic Church especially Enugu Catholic Diocese has continued to see to the welfare and wellbeing of prisons inmates.
“We have drawn the attention of the government to some urgent need and immediate actions needed to be taken to make the correctional facilities better.
“It is a common knowledge that the correctional facilities needed decongestion and expansion.
“The facilities needed urgent installation of some appliance and amenities that will give minimum comfort to the inmates. They should at least live like humans.
“While those that work in the prisons or correctional facilities, notwithstanding their names or cadre, needed to be taken care of, for them to give back the same love to the inmates,” he said.
He also called for a holistic and functional judicial and law enforcement reforms that would set other forms of punishment for law breakers of lower offences without using the prisons or correctional facilities.