Kano state Governor, Dr. Abdullahi Umar Ganduje has suggested that the law which mandates state governors to sign death (execution) warrants of condemned prisoners should be amended by National Assembly to enable the task to be reassigned to the Chief Justice of Nigeria.
He made the call while receiving the new Comptroller of Prisons, Kano Command, Alhaji Aliyu Achor who complained to him that most of the governors refuse to sign execution documents in their respective states, a factor contributing to prison congestion across the federation.
“Life is valued in African culture perhaps that is why governors here are reluctant to sign execution documents. Since judges are the ones who make the sentences, I think the National Assembly should amend the law so that the CJN signs the warrants. I think the Chief Justice of Nigeria is in a better position to assent to the execution”, the governor stated.
The governor maintained that the state has a Committee on Administration of Justice headed by Deputy Governor which is saddled with responsibility of mapping out strategies to decongest prisons and to generally facilitate dispensation of justice.
Dr. Ganduje assured that his administration would look into the possibility of allocating more land adjacent the expanse of territory already apportioned for the proposed relocation of Kano Central Prison to Janguza, in the outskirts of the city, as well as for the extension of Wudil prison, to accommodate more inmates.
He further assured that the state Committee of Prerogative of Mercy would be reinvigorated to work closely with the State command of Nigeria Prison Service to ensure that prisons in Kano are decongested and that the welfare of inmates is guaranteed.
Earlier, the Kano Comptroller of Prisons, Aliyu Achor who thanked the state government for allocating land for the relocation of Kano Central Prison, explained that more land was required to incorporate other critical infrastructure in the new site, adding that the Wudil Prison is also saturated and in dire need of extension.
He also urged the governor to take necessary action against condemned criminals whose number in the Kano Central Prison has gone far beyond what it can accommodate, explaining that the cell for such inmates which was meant to accommodate only 40 people now has 109 inmates.
Alhaji Achor further appealed to the governor to help in decongesting Kano Prisons by considering what he called “implementable warrants” for people convicted under Shari’a, since most of their sentences are not covered by the national constitution.
Meanwhile, Governor Ganduje has appealed to the House of Representatives Committee on Works, to come up with resolution that would enable the Federal government to refund states that executed projects under the jurisdiction of the central government, in their domains.
He made the call when members of the Committee visited him adding that the state government has done so many projects especially road construction on many federal government highways.
The governor urged the Federal government to also expedite action on some ongoing Federal road projects in the state, revealing that on its part, the state government is executing capital intensive road projects, underpasses and flyovers using Internally Generated Revenue and Federal bailout funds.
The Chairman of the committee, Mr. Toby Okechukwu told the governor that the a public hearing was conducted on Federal government projects done by states on its behalf, assuring that the committee would look into the matter carefully in order to resolve the issue amicably.
Mr. Okechukwu said the members are in the state on oversight functions on abandoned and ongoing projects of federal government, pointing out that this would give the committee a chance to see which projects that need more attention in the 2017 budget.