President Muhammadu Buhari has been urged to direct the Minister of Health to request all public hospitals in the country to treat prison inmates without demanding payment.
This request was made by a group, Citizens United for the Rehabilitation of Errants, (CURE-Nigeria), in a statement yesterday by its Executive Director, Sylvester Uhaa.
The group claimed that where inmates, including those in life-threatening situations, are denied treatment in hospitals because they have no money, amounts to deprivation of the right to life.
It also linked the practice to the alarming rate of deaths in the nation’s prisons.
The group praised the House of Representatives for asking the Federal Government to urgently take steps to remove juveniles from adult prisons and ensure that they (juveniles in conflict with the law) are properly rehabilitated and re integrated into society.
CURE-Nigeria, however faulted the House of Reps’ call for the construction of more borstal institutions.
It said: “We do not need more borstal institutions. We need to invest in measures that divert children in conflict with the law away from the formal criminal justice system, so that they are properly rehabilitated and re-integrated into society.
“We need to invest in developing and implementing a comprehensive child-sensitive justice policy that focus on reformation and on the best interest of the child, consistent with the international norm that the deprivation of liberty of children shall be a matter of last resort and for the shortest appropriate period of time.
“Also, the building of more borstal institutions as canvassed by the House is inconsistent with the Federal Government’s commitment to fighting poverty, reducing inequalities, improving education and equal access to opportunities for all Nigerians.”
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