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Senate seeks prosecution of officials behind unlawful incarceration of minors

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The Senate has directed the Federal Ministry of Justice to ensure the prosecution of any official of the Correctional Service found complicit in the unjustified incarceration of minors.

It also directed its Committees on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters; and Interior to investigate the circumstances surrounding the admission of each inmate of the Borstal facilities and come up with appropriate recommendations to the Senate.

These were resolutions reached by the Senate on Wednesday, after it considered a motion on “The need to investigate admission of inmates and operations of Borstal facilities across Nigeria”.

The motion was sponsored by Sen. Oluremi Tinubu (APC-Lagos) during plenary.

The chamber also directed the relevant authorities to ensure the implementation of the Child Rights Act 2003; while urging State Assemblies across the country on its domestication.

Tinubu noted that the Borstal Institutions attempt to keep delinquents out of prison and away from adult offenders to avoid molestation and negative influence that could make them to become repeat offenders.

According to her, there are only three borstal facilities in Nigeria, situated in Kaduna, Abeokuta and Ilorin.

Tinubu observed that these Borstal facilities were established to admit only male juvenile delinquents between ages 16 and 21 as at the day of conviction.

She further observed that, “Clause 9 of the Borstal Institutions and Remand Centres Act – Subsidiary Legislation, 1962, provides that delinquents are to be admitted into the institution with a warrant from the court, committing them to a sentence of borstal training; and provides for three months observation period of the inmates.”

According to her, “some of these young persons were said to have been admitted to the facility when they were younger than 16, the minimum age prescribed by law.”

The resolutions were adopted by the senators after a voice vote.

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