T0P STORY: Senate Makes Fresh Move On Prison Inmates | READ IN FULL


T0P STORY: Senate Makes Fresh Move On Prison Inmates | READ IN FULL

By Nancy Okafor:

The Nigerian Senate has moved the motion for prison inmates to vote during general elections.

The development they said is to accommodate the prison inmate population, considering that the number of inmates in various prisons Nationwide put together  is over 68,000 and the statistics of those awaiting trial who in the eyes of the law are presumed innocent until found guilty.

The motion sponsored by Senator Moro, Patrick Abba (Benue South) notes that there are persons in prison custody awaiting trial, undergoing trial or awaiting conviction for one offence or the other whose right to vote and citizenship remains sacrosanct.

Sen. Moro  in his press briefing said it is the prerogative of Prison inmates to vote during general elections in Nigeria “certain human rights are inalienable and come natural with the birth of the individual. One of such rights is that if citizenship. Incarceration though is one of the legal grounds of depriving a person or an offender in custody of certain rights, the rights of citizenship cannot at any point be taken away”


“Citizenship is encapsulated under the Nigerian Constitution 1999(as amended) comes with many defined rights and civic responsibilities, one of which is the right to vote in general elections


” It is forthright and just that such persons be allowed to exercise their franchise and any attempt by an individual or agency to deny inmates of their rights is unconstitutional, illegal, unlawful, null and void”


Accordingly, the Senate urge the Independent National Electoral Commission and all relevant agencies ; to carry out voracious voters enlightenment in all prisons in Nigeria ; to update it’s register of voters to take into account the prison population for the purpose of elections ; to locate voting centers at custodial centers across the country and to allow duly registered and eligible prison electorates to exercise their franchise during all general elections in Nigeria.

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