Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari, has requested Nigerian’s chief Judge, Ibrahim Tanko to temporarily pardon inmates who were still awaiting trial.
Muhammadu was quoted in a statement saying inmates who have been jailed for more than 6 years would be discharged. He said only 74000 inmates including those without confirmed cases in their name, elderly and the terminally ill could be pardoned.
“Most of these custodial centres are presently housing inmates beyond their capacities and the overcrowded facilities pose a potent threat to the health of inmates and In public in general in views of the present circumstances, ” he said.
A few weeks back, President Buhari freed about 2600 prisoners from the holding cell due to various reasons one being lives of prisoners who were at risk. Nigeria is the largest population in Africa with more than 200 million people. It has recorded quite a sizable number of coronavirus infections and deaths in countries in West Africa.
In the SADEC region, South Africa is leading with numbers of infections and deaths. On Tuesday, President Cyril Ramophosa announced an R500 billion economic stimulus package as a relief to the already burdened citizens. He is again expected to address the nation on Thursday night on more developments as coronavirus continues to strike.
The President insisted urgent steps needed to be taken to abscond a total collapse in prisons which in turn could overburden the country’s health facilities.
Nigeria and South Africa respectively are the biggest economies in the African continent.
Written by Thalente Ncube