By Aaron Ossai
Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon Yakubu Dogara, has queried the essence of the Nigerian Justice system, saying it does not reform convicted criminals, but instead makes them more hardened.
The Speaker said this while receiving a delegation from Prison Fellowship Society of Nigeria, at his office.
He noted that some people who are sentenced to jail for involvement in crime get so frustrated against the system which instead of reforming them, makes them more frustrated and angry and their communities.
Dogara added that at the end of the day, such people return to the society to commit more serious crimes against other citizens.
He therefore advocated for a reformative system that will rehabilitate criminals and make their reintegration into the society easier.
The Speaker also commended the Prison Fellowship Society for their dedication to the welfare of the prisoners, saying all Nigerians benefit from their personal sacrifice and conviction.
Earlier, Barrister Benson Ngozi Iwuagwu, Executive Director of the Prison Fellowship Society, who spoke on behalf of the group, urged the Speaker to help to push through legislation, reforms for the justice system in Nigeria and collaborate with the fellowship to alleviate the sufferings of the prisoners.
Restorative justice is a system of criminal justice which focuses on the rehabilitation of offenders through reconciliation with victims and the community at large.