Former Benue State Governor and Senator representing Benue East Senatorial district, Gabriel Torwua Suswam has said that the idea of Nigerians going to prison over what he calls “minor cases” should be looked into and something done about it.
The Senator made this known while contributing to a motion on prison decongestion by Uche Ekwunife, senator representing Anambra central.
Recalling his experience in prison, Suswam lamented and regreted how Nigerians with “minor cases” are easily thrown into prison.
“I want to support this motion based on my experience. When I left prison, I recommended that for people to be proper leaders in this country, at least each and everyone of us must spend one or two days in prison,” he said.
Lawan interjected and jokingly said: “you mean anyone who served as a Governor?”
“Yes and deputy governor probably,” he added, before Suswan continued.
“I went there, they took me there in the night. The following day in the morning, the entire prison knew I was there.
“I sat down there from morning till evening because there were a lot of young people there.
“And it might interest you to know that what they spend years in prison for, are demeanour cases you can easily dismiss. There was a young man who has spent 10 years there for just a problem of N10,000.
“Various individuals were there on very minor offences that the police can afford to correct them and send them home.
“I made it a point of duty that when I left that place, for the next one month, I took close to 20 young people out of that place. It didn’t take anything, just pay the money and send them back to court. Many Nigerians go to prison over minor cases and this must stop.”
After his contribution, the motion for decongestion of prisons was adopted by the senate who authourized relevant committees to ensure a proper oversight of correctional centres in Nigeria.