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Jailbreaks SANs seek lesser sentence for minor offence

Legal practitioners have advised the FG to apply lesser sentences that include providing community services in minor offences.

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Nigerian prison (Photo used for illustrative purposes alone) play

Nigerian prison (Photo used for illustrative purposes alone)

(Buzz Nigeria)

Two Senior Advocates of Nigeria (SAN) have advocated for non-custodial sentencing for some minor offences in the criminal justice system.

The SANs Mr Paul Erokoro and Ahmed Raji, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Tuesday that people do not have to go through jail for every minor offence committed.

According to them, it will decongest the prisons and forestall the incessant jailbreaks experienced in the country.

Mr Paul Erokoro, (SAN) told NAN that "those that cannot pay fines don’t need to be jailed.

"They can work for their country or community; by participating in road constructions and cleaning the cities."

Erokoro called for amendment of the constitution to remove the Nigerian Prisons Service from the exclusive legislative list, to enable states have their own prisons for increased capacity.

He called for the domestication of the Administration of the Criminal Justice Act 2015 to be applicable in the states,

Similarly, Mr Ahmed Raji, another SAN, called for the setting up of structures that would lessen the burden of the prisons to avoid reoccurrence of jailbreaks.

Raji said that remanding every convict in prison should be discouraged.

He also advocated use of non-custodial sentencing where by offenders could offer some community-related services.

``Instead of remanding people in the prison custody I think we can develop systems to free them.

``In developed countries, they have suspended sentencing subject to good behaviour," Raji said.

Raji also advocated for better welfare of prison officials by the Federal Government, especially in the area of provision of arms.

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