The Senate Wednesday summoned the comptroller General of Prisons, Mr Ahmed Ja’afaru to explain the allegations of unwanted pregnancies and teenage confinement in prisons.
There are recent allegations of unwanted pregnancies and delivery of babies without legitimate parents across the prisons yards in the country.
Consequently, the upper chamber has also mandated its committee on interior to carry out discrete investigations on the matter.
This resolution followed a motion sponsored by Senator Victor Umeh representing Anambra Central senatorial district titled, “Illegal confinement of underage offenders / infants in the same Prison with adult prisoners.”
On his lead debate, Umeh said he was traumatized by the gory pictures of underage children languishing in various prisons.
He further explained that female prisoners give birth while in prison custody without adequate provisions and arrangements for the care and development of such children.
The lawmaker lamented that due to insensitivity and dereliction of duty, the Police prosecutors encourage these underage offenders to manipulate their ages during arraignments in courts in the false hope that they would later be released.
Umeh emphasized that the teenagers even opt to be in courts without any legal representation and based on the ill-advice by some over-zealous prosecutors, unaware of the dire consequences.
The lawmaker said keeping infants with their mothers under awaiting trials have numerous consequences ranging from lack of proper upbringing, health hazards and psychological damage to the larger society. (Daily Post)