PPDC decries high number of pre-trial detentions in Nigeria

PPDC program manager in Adamawa, Fatima Raji.
PPDC program manager in Adamawa, Fatima Raji.
PPDC decries high number of pre-trial detentions in Nigeria

The Public and Private Development Center’s Access to Justice Program (PPDC) has decried the staggering number of pre-trial detentions in Nigeria’s correctional centers, vowing to work with partners to reverse the situation.

During her presentation at the ongoing 2023 law week in Yola, the program manager, access to justice project in Adamawa State, Fatima Bello Raji noted that the high number of pre-trial inmates currently in Nigeria’s detention facilities are worrisome and should elicit concern and action from all stakeholders.

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“Data from the Nigerian correctional service as at October 30, 2023 shows that there are 81,134 inmates in Nigerian prisons. A staggering 55,501 (68%) are pre-trial detentions incarcerated in harrowing situations and sometimes for years over minor offence charges,” she disclosed.

She noted that to reverse the ugly trend, PPDC is mobilizing support and encouraging active participation of all stakeholders to invest in the reform efforts that will ultimately lead to a just and equitable system in Nigeria.

The PPDC is a non-governmental organization established with the purpose of increasing citizens’ participation in governance process in a way that improves the integrity of public and private sector processes.

The organization also focuses on strengthening and scaling reforms targeting service delivery among criminal justice institutions considering the underdeveloped nature and dearth of capacity of these institutions to meet the justice needs of the people.

The program also seeks to emphasize the use of technology to support robust transformation of systems and processes and strategic procedural reform initiatives which address the inherent systemic delays in the administration of civil proceedings and criminal justice all geared to ensure justice for the average citizen.

Raji noted that PPDC through its flagship court administration and case management (CACM) project supported by the United States Department of State Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) will expand its strategic learning into designing and implementing targeted initiatives that will respond to identified constraints in the justice sector.

“The increasing number of pre-trial detainees in Nigeria’s detention centers is a continuously growing human rights concern. The respective pre-trial detention reforms initiatives carried out over the years have failed to reduce the overall number of pre-trial detainees.

“PPDC’s pre-trial detention project over the next three years will reduce the number of detainee populations in correction facilities and establish a just and humane pre-trial detention system in Nigeria,” she said.

The project according to her is being implemented in five Nigerian states namely; Adamawa, Nasarawa, Kaduna, Plateau and Lagos States.

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