Consequently, it mandated its Committee on Interior, led by Senator Andy Ubah (APC, Anambra South), to summon the Comptroller-General of Prisons, Ahmed Ja’afaru, to brief it on the state of Prison inmates in Nigeria.
The committee, according to the Senate, would carry out a holistic investigation into the confinement of underage offenders and infants with adults in the nation’s prisons and report back within four weeks.
The upper chamber, which urged the Legal Aid Council to step up efforts to ensure that underage children were not prosecuted without legal representation in courts, however, called on the Federal Government to establish more Juvenile Remand/ Correctional Homes and, Crèches attached to all female Prisons across the nation.
Resolutions of the Senate, yesterday, were sequel to a motion by Senator Victor Umeh (APGA, Anambra Central), entitled, “Illegal confinement of underage offenders and infants in the same prison with adult prisoners.”
The Senate also urged security agencies involved in the arrest and detention of juveniles to ensure they were not incarcerated beyond 48 hours and that when conviction was secured, should ensure they were separated from the adults inmates.
In his presentation, Senator Umeh said: “The Senate: Notes that Section 1 of the Child’s Right Act provides that: “In every action concerning a child, whether undertaken by an individual, public or private body, institutions or services, court of law, or administrative or legislative authority, the best interest of the child shall be the primary consideration.”