Dr. Abdullahi Umar Ganduje. Kano State Governor, has said that the law which mandates state governors to sign death warrants of condemned prisoners should be amended by the 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 governors’ refusal to sign execution documents in their respective states has contributed to prison congestion across the federation.
“Life is valued in the African culture, perhaps that is why governors here are reluctant to sign execution documents. Since judges are the ones who do the sentencing, 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.
Ganduje said that the state has a Committee on Administration of Justice headed by the Deputy Governor which is saddled with the responsibility of mapping out strategies to decongest prisons and to generally facilitate dispensation of justice.
He 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 the 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 expansion.
He also urged the governor to take necessary action against condemned criminals whose number in the Kano Central Prison has gone far beyond its capacity, explaining that the cell for such inmates which was meant to accommodate only 40 people now has 109 inmates.
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.