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The senate yesterday expunged hard labour from Nigerian Prisons Act, stressing that it was inherited from the colonial masters.

It recommended that ‘hard labour,’ according to Section (8)1, is “an inheritance from colonial era and should be deleted and replaced with Prison Labour.”

The Senate also recommended a bill for an Act to repeal the Prisons Act Cap. 129 Laws, 2004 and enact the Nigerian Prisons and Correctional Service.

The decision came following the amendment of the Prison Act carried out by Senate Committee on Interior, which was headed by Senator Atiku Bagudu, who also solicited for the accommodation of the Nigeria Prisons reform in the Subsidy Re-investment Empowerment Programme (SURE-P).

Senator Bagudu while speaking during the consideration of the report of the committee, added that anybody who interferes in the work of a prisoner by working outside a prison or entering any house commits an offence and is liable to one year imprisonment or N10,000 fine.

Section 8(g) stipulated that “interference with a prisoner working outside a prison, or allows such a prisoner to enter any house, yard or other premises (unless it is at the request of the prison officer or other person in charge of the prison), or assists such a prisoner to absent himself or neglect his work, commits an offence and is liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding N10,000 or to imprisonment for a period not exceeding 12 months, or both.

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