Why I sponsored the Nigerian Correctional Service Bill, 2019 - Sen. Andy Uba

Why I sponsored the Nigerian Correctional Service Bill, 2019 - Sen. Andy Uba

- Senator Andy Uba has revealed why he sponsored the Nigerian Correctional Service Bill, 2019

- The Anambra-born former lawmaker said with the new law, prisons in Nigeria will be decongested

- He also noted that the new law would generally foster a better administration of Criminal Justice in Nigeria

Former chairman of the Senate committee on interior, Senator Andy Uba said he sponsored the Nigerian Correctional Service Bill, 2019 because of his desire to see a total transformation in the management and administration of prisons in Nigeria.

Speaking to journalists on Thursday, August 15, the former senator representing Anambra south senatorial district in the National Assembly, noted that by the extant provisions of this new law, both custodial and non-custodial sentencing would be permissible; prisons will be decongested and it would generally foster a better administration of Criminal Justice in Nigeria.

This development, he said, will also ensure that the Nigerian Prisons Administration System is at par with international best practices.

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Recall that President Muhammadu Buhari had on Wednesday, August 14, assented to the bill changing the name of the Nigerian Prisons Service (NPS) to The Nigerian Correctional Service.

“The Act repeals the Prisons Acts and changes the name from Nigeria Prisons Service to Nigerian Correctional Service, otherwise known as “the Correctional Service,” a statement from Ita Enang, senior special assistant to the president on National Assembly Matters (Senate) noted.

There are, according to the Act, two main faculties of the Correctional Service, namely; Custodial Service and Non-custodial Service.

Senator Uba said: “I am particularly enthused and delighted about President Muhammadu Buhari's resolve to grant assent to the Bill because of the quality of time devoted in the harmonization process by researchers, committee staff, and legislators as well.

“As chairman of the interior committee, my team and I visited several prisons in Nigeria and we saw first hand the decay in the system.

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“The facilities were congested with most inmates under the awaiting trial list. Basic amenities such as food, electricity, water, beddings, toilet facilities were also in a sorry state due to the poor budgetary allocation that goes to the prisons.

“Touched by these, I decided to sponsor the Correctional Service Bill, 2019 so as to bring the much-needed reforms to the Nigerian Prisons.

“The bill also empowers the State Comptroller of Prisons to reject additional prisoners where the prison in question is already filled to capacity.

“As the new name suggests, more emphasis will now be placed on correcting inmates through various skills acquisition programs such as tailoring, shoe-making, carpentry, computer engineering among others.”

Meanwhile, Shehu Sani, a former member of the Senate, has said that the name change to correctional service is a welcome development.

The former member of the upper chamber, however, said that the next thing will be to ensure that the service is operated to reflect its new status.

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