The Nigeria Prison Service (NPS) has accused state governors of being responsible for the high number of condemned inmates in prisons across the country as they were unwilling to approve the execution of inmates on death penalty.
The Service Public Relations Officer (PRO), Francis Enobore stated this at the weekend in Abuja during a parley with journalists.
While revealing that 1,640 condemned persons were presently in prison formations across the country, Enobore appealed to the state governors to do the needful by either signing the condemned persons death execution or commuting their death sentences to terms of imprisonment.
"The problem of condemned prisoners is still a very big challenged to NPS and we have been appealing to the relevant authorities especially to the Chief Executives” he said. “When someone gets to his last bus stop and is condemned to death and he has exhausted his appeal to the Supreme Court, the only opportunity he has to escape the death is the Chief Executive commuting his death sentence to a term of imprisonment or sign the death warrant for this person to take his last breath.
"But there is a kind of silent moratorium that most governors are not too willing to endorse death sentences.
“You are not signing their execution, yet you are not commuting their death sentences to terms of imprisonment, so that we can get them transferred to a place where they can be remodelled or rebranded for the society.
"So they create a very big problem for us. But we keep appealing that governors to do the needful so that we will be able to really manage these people effectively."
While disclosing that the present management of the NPS was ready to take the Service to greater heights, Enobore said apart from massive promotion of personnel, the government had provided more logistics to the Service.
“10, 979 officers across board who were stagnated for several years have been promoted. As a result, there is high motivation now in the Service.
“Government provided 400 vehicles and infrastructure. We are currently expanding cells too,” he said.