The executive secretary of National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) Prof. Bem Angwe has called the attention of the public to the incidence of incarcerating children aged between 10 and 15 years in prisons for offences allegedly committed by their relations.
Angwe stated this in Enugu when he, the state’s governor, Mr. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi and some members of the commission inspected the Enugu prison to ascertain its condition and level of compliance with basic human rights
The executive secretary painted a gloomy picture of the situation saying there were inmates who were arrested for the offences committed by their relatives.
He urged the governor to help ease the problem of decongestion by building additional blocks on the prison’s premises.
In his response, Ugwuanyi called on the federal government to consider an urgent relocating of the facility from its present location in the city centre to a safer part of the town.
The governor noted that at the time the prison was built in 1915, its present location was then regarded as the outskirts of the city, but has now become the city centre due to development and urbanization.
He said the commission’s visit was timely in view of jailbreaks incidents recorded in the country in recent time.
He said the visit would “help provide insight into the immediate and remote causes of these incidents and also provide answers as to how such occurrences can be prevented in future.”
Ugwuanyi further described the visit as “expedient” saying it would help decongest the prison given that it had exceeded its capacity.
The governor praised the officials of the commission for their role in securing justice for inmates who had been on awaiting trial list longer than their offences would have attracted.