Amnesty International has released a report into the state of Nigeria’s prison system and it shows how the criminal justice system is failing the people of that country.
The report describes the criminal justice system as a ‘conveyor belt of injustice, from beginning to end’, it reveals how:
- 65 per cent or more of Nigeria’s inmates have never been convicted of any crime, and can await trial for up to ten years;
- Most in Nigerian prisoners are too poor to afford a lawyer – with only one in seven awaiting trial having access to private legal representation;
- How the prison conditions include overcrowding, and are damaging the mental and physical health of thousands of inmates.
- Torture by police is also routine and widespread, with ‘confessions’ extracted by torture often used as evidence in trials.
Amnesty International’s researcher on Nigeria said: ‘The problems in Nigerian’s criminal justice system – especially its prisons, are so blatant and egregious that the Nigerian government has had no choice but to recognise them.."
‘..the reality is that those in prison stand little chance of their rights being respected. Those without money stand even less chance. Some could end up spending the rest of their lives behind bars in appalling conditions without ever having been convicted of a crime .."