The Prisoner Transfer Agreement between the United Kingdom and Nigeria has yet to take off four years after an understanding was reached to allow sentenced prisoners in either country, to be transferred to a prison in their home country where they can serve the balance of their jail terms.
The Punch gathered that a certain percentage of the 238 Nigerians in UK prisons would be eligible for prisoner transfer to Nigeria under the initiative.
The Prisoner Transfer Agreement which was signed in 2014 also allows for British nationals serving jail terms in Nigeria to be transferred to the UK where they can receive help and support from their families and friends and the communities to which they will eventually return.
So far, no British prisoners had been transferred to the UK.
Commenting on the delayed implementation of the agreement, the spokesperson, UK High Commission in Nigeria, AtinukeOluwa Adelegan, stated that work is underway between the two countries to improve the transfer agreement so that prisoners who are transferred to their home country are not disadvantaged as a consequence of the transfer.
She further disclosed that the UK is working with the Federal Government to improve prison conditions in a range of ways, including the construction of a prisoner housing block in Kiri-Kiri prisons in Lagos.
The project, she added, would likely commence in the New Year, subject to final agreements between the Nigerian and UK governments, noting that part of the overall goals of the PTA was to improve Nigerian prison conditions and capacity.
Ms Adelegan said, “Work is underway between the two countries to improve the transfer agreement so that prisoners who are transferred to their home country are not disadvantaged as a consequence of transfer.
“As of September 30, 2018, there were 238 Nigerian prisoners held by Her Majesty’s Prison and Probation Service, of which a small number would be eligible for prisoner transfer from the UK to Nigeria.”
“The Prisoner Transfer Agreement which was signed in 2014 allows for British nationals serving prison sentences in Nigeria to be transferred to the UK. To date no British prisoners have been transferred to the UK,” she added.