NPS says 2,500 inmates on death row, awaits state governors’ consent for execution

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Prison inmates crammed in a room
Prison inmates crammed in a room

The Nigerian Prisons Service, NPS, has appealed to state governors to intervene in the management of over 2,500 inmates on death row and help decongest prison facilities.

The Prison Public Relation Officer of NPS, Francis Enobore, made the appeal in an interview with newsmen on Friday in Abuja.

Mr Enobore said the governors ought to sign death warrants for the execution of the convicts or commute their sentences to life imprisonment to help in the management of the prisons.

According to him, condemned convicts have been a big issue in the Nigerian Prison Service and it has been difficult to deal with the issue.

“Before now, a prison might have 500 condemned convicts and of course that can be managed but a situation where you have more than that, then it becomes an issue.

“Presently, over 2,500 condemned convicts are in prisons. Some of them have exhausted their appeals and are only awaiting the hangman.

“This issue has caused deep anger among them; they have become hardened and difficult to control.

“You greet some of them, they won’t even respond. You try to make them not feel discouraged in life, they see you as a threat, ” he said.

Mr Enobore said that the condemned convicts were different from those awaiting trial who could be taken to courts anytime.

He said it was necessary that state governors sign the death warrants because some of them had become too difficult to manage.

He said governors could also commute some sentences to life imprisonment so that the beneficiaries of such gesture would have hope of living to become better persons in the future.

“As they are, they can’t go to school while in prison and they can’t even partake in skill acquisition.

“But if the appeal is granted, it would enable them to go to school while in prison or have skills in any field.

“This would give them hope of becoming better people in the nearest future,” Mr Enobore said.

NAN