Reps want trust fund for correctional centres

The House of Representatives House Committee on Reformatory Institutions has resolved to push ahead with its bill on the establishment of a trust fund to manage correctional services across the states.

The chairman of the committee, Chinedu Ogah, disclosed this to journalists on Tuesday in Abuja.

He said the Act would mandate the three tiers of government to contribute a statutory amount to manage the correctional services.

Ogah said the bill had passed first and second readings and urged the governors to establish correctional services in their states to decongest correctional center since it is now on the concurrent list.

The lawmaker said: “I have written to all the governors of the 36 states, including the Attorney-General of the Federation, outlining this section of the constitution that is not being implemented by the states.

“But most of these governors have neglected this part of the law. They have defaulted on obeying the law of the land as the amended 1999 Constitution stipulates. And this Act was enacted in 2019.

“Some NGOs have approached me about taking most of these governors to court for breaching this constitution.

“But we will continue to appeal to them to implement what the constitution says.”

Ogah expressed concern that people always puts pressure on the Federal Government, leaving a particular work that is supposed to be done by the states.

According to him, 90 percent of the inmates in the correctional centres were held for state offences, while only 10 percent were from the federal government.

He added: “It is the Federal Government that bankrolls the feeding, renovation, rehabilitation, training, and reintegration of these offenders into society.

“Why should it be so?”

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