Gov. Abdullahi Ganduje of Kano State has urged the Federal Government to transfer the management of prisons to states.
Ganduje, who spoke in Kano on Tuesday, said that the measure would ensure “a permanent solution” to prison congestion.
Ganduje made the request when the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr Abubakar Malami, led the Prison Reform and Decongestion Committee on a courtesy visit to him.
“A permanent solution to the issue of prison congestion will be to transfer the prisons to the states.
“If the administration of the prisons is under the states, governors will have free access to the prisons and determine what to do based on their actual realities,” he said.
He said that the Kano government would soon forward a memorandum to the National Assembly on the need for a constitutional review to allow the transfer of prisons to the states.
The governor said that the state government had adopted a scientific approach to the issue of prison congestion by setting up a special committee to look into the issue.
“The committee discovered that the congestion is caused largely by long periods of waiting for trial while in prison custody, and had suggested some measures to check that.
In his remarks, Malami told the governor that the committee was in Kano to secure the release of some inmates in various prisons in Kano, who were fined but had not been able to pay up those fines.
The Chairman of the committee, Justice Ishaq Bello, who is also the Chief Judge of the FCT High Court, in his speech, commended the Kano government for supporting the Federal Government’s efforts toward tackling prison congestion.
Bello challenged other governors to emulate such efforts so as to end the congestion that had made the prisons more of punitive, rather than corrective, homes.