Ikoyi Prison Electrocution: Rights Group, PRAI, files Suits Seeking End to Overcrowding, Torture

The Prisoners’ Rights Advocacy Initiative, PRAI, has filed suits, on behalf of the Inmates of Ikoyi Custodial Center(Prison), against the Federal Government of Nigeria and Six others for the enforcement of the Fundamental Rights of the inmates.

According to the court papers obtained from the Executive Director of PRAI, Ahmed Adetola-Kazeem, the rights sought to be enforced are; Freedom from torture, inhuman and degrading treatment in view of the overcrowding and poor conditions of the Prison which aggravated the electrocution incident leading to the death of five inmates and grievously injuring at least ten others.

PRAI, is a non-governmental organization providing pro-bono legal and rehabilitation services to prison inmates. PRAI’s areas of focus are advocacy, legal defence, rehabilitation and reintegration.

The court processes elaborately summed up the deplorable environment the Ikoyi Prisons inmates inhabit as a result of overcrowding, inadequate facilities.

The Processes


IN THE FEDERAL HIGH COURT
IN THE LAGOS JUDICIAL DIVISION
HOLDEN AT LAGOS

Suit No…………..

IN THE MATTER OF AN APPLICATION BY THE INCORPORATED
TRUSTEES OF THE PRISONERS’ RIGHTS ADVOCACY INITIATIVE, SUING
ON BEHALF OF THE INMATES OF THE IKOYI MEDIUM SECURITY
CUSTODIAL CENTRE FOR AN ORDER FOR THE ENFORCEMENT OF THE
INMATES’ FUNDAMENTAL HUMAN RIGHTS
AND
IN THE MATTER OF THE INCORPORATED TRUSTEES OF THE PRISONERS
RIGHTS ADVOCACY INITIATIVE
BETWEEN
THE INCORPORED TRUSTEES OF
PRISONERS’ RIGHTS ADVOCACY INITIATIVE – APPLICANT
  AND
1. THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT OF NIGERIA
2. THE ATTORNEY GENERAL OF THE FEDERATION
3. THE MINISTER OF INTERIOR
4. THE CONTROLLER-GENERAL OF THE NIGERIAN CORRECTIONAL SERVICE
5. LAGOS STATE CONTROLLER OF RESPONDENTS
CORRECTIONAL SERVICE
6. ATTORNEY GENERAL OF LAGOS STATE
7. CHIEF JUDGE OF LAGOS STATE

MOTION ON NOTICE

BROUGHT PURSUANT TO ORDER 2 RULES 1 AND 2 OF
FUNDAMENTAL RIGHTS (ENFORCEMENT PROCEDURE) RULES
2009, SECTIONS 34(1) (A), 35(1) (F), 35(4), 36(5) AND 46(1) OF THE
CONSTITUTION OF THE FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA 1999 (AS
AMENDED); ARTICLES 5 AND 6 OF THE AFRICAN CHARTER ON
HUMAN AND PEOPLES’ RIGHTS (RATIFICATION AND
ENFORCEMENT) ACT, AND UNDER THE INHERENT JURISDICTION

OF THIS HONOURABLE COURT.

TAKE NOTICE that this Honourable Court will be moved

Page 2 of 39
on……….the…………..day of……………..2019, at the hour of 9 O’clock in the
forenoon or so soon thereafter as Counsel may be heard on behalf of the
Applicant, for the following reliefs:
1. A Declaration that the overcrowding of the Ikoyi Medium Security
Custodial Centre, which was originally built in 1955 to accommodate
800 inmates, but, now holding about 3,113 inmates as at 3rd
December 2019 is unconstitutional and violates the inmates’
fundamental right of freedom from degrading treatment and respect for
dignity of their persons under Section 34(1) of the Constitution of the
Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended).
2. A Declaration that the overcrowding of the Ikoyi Medium Security
Custodial Centre, which was originally built in 1955 to accommodate
800 inmates, but, now holding about 3,113 inmates as at 3rd
December 2019 is a breach of Section 12(8) of the Nigerian
Correctional Service Act 2019 which requires the 5 th Respondent’s not
to keep inmates in excess of the Custodial Centre’s capacity.
3. A Declaration that the overcrowding of the Ikoyi Medium Security
Custodial Centre, which was originally built in 1955 to accommodate
800 inmates, but now holding about 3,113 inmates as at 3rd December
2019 is a breach of the 1 st Respondent’s duties under Rules 1, 12 and
13 the United Nations Standard Minimum Rules for Treatment of
Prisoners (as revised in 2015) A/RES/70/175 to maintain the minimum
standard of accommodation of inmates.
4. A Declaration that the overcrowding of the Ikoyi Medium Security
Custodial Centre, which was originally built in 1955 to accommodate
800 inmates, but, now holding about 3,113 inmates as at 3rd
December 2019 is indicative of the neglect of the 4 th Respondent’s duty
under Section 111(1) of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act,
2015 to make returns to the 2 nd and 7 th Respondents every ninety days
on the number of persons awaiting trial held in custody at the Ikoyi
Medium Security Custodial Centre.
5. A Declaration that the overcrowding of the Ikoyi Medium Security
Custodial Centre, which was originally built in 1955 to accommodate

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800 inmates, but, now holding about 3,113 inmates as at 3rd
December 2019 is indicative of the neglect of the 5 th Respondent’s duty
under Section 12(4) of the Nigerian Correctional Service Act, 2019 to
notify the 6 th and 7 th Respondents, within one week, once the Ikoyi
Medium Security Custodial Centre exceeds its capacity; and its duty
under Section 12(8) of the Nigerian Correctional Service Act, 2019 to
reject more inmates in excess of the capacity of the Ikoyi Medium
Security Custodial Centre;
6. A Declaration that the arrest and continued remand, without proper
arraignment and trial in a court of competent jurisdiction, of all inmates
as of the day of judgment in this application, who have been in custody
for period in excess of two months in case of those not entitled to bail,
and three months in case of the those entitled to bail, is unlawful and
unconstitutional and a violation of their fundamental right to personal
liberty and freedom of movement as guaranteed by Sections 35(4) and
41 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as
amended) and Article 6 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’
Rights (Ratification and Enforcement) Act CAP A9 LFN 2004.
7. A Declaration that the arrest and continued remand, without proper
arraignment and trial in a court of competent jurisdiction, of all inmates
as of the day of judgment in this application, who have been in custody
for period in excess of the maximum imprisonment terms of the
respective offences they have been charged is unlawful and
unconstitutional as it violates their fundamental right to personal liberty
and freedom of movement as guaranteed by Sections 35(1)(f) and 41
of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as
amended).
8. A Declaration that the dearth or lack of functional basic amenities,
including state of the art vocational and recreational centres, and
health facilities in the Ikoyi Medium Security Correctional Centre is
unlawful and violates inmates’ fundamental rights under Section
34(1)(a) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as
amended) and also a breach of the 1 st Respondent’s duties under the
United Nations Standard Minimum Rules for Treatment of Prisoners
(as revised in 2015) A/RES/70/175.

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9. A Declaration that the 1 st – 5 th Respondents’ failure to keep a safe and
conducive custody of inmates in the Ikoyi Medium Security Custodial
Centre, was responsible for the electrocution incident which led to the
death of at least five inmates and injury of at least 10 others and is also
a breach of the inmates’ rights of freedom from inhuman and
degrading treatment enshrined in Section 34(1)(a) of the Constitution
of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Sections 10(b), 14(8) and 24 of the
Nigerian Correctional Act, 2019 and the United Nations Standard
Minimum Rules for Treatment of Prisoners (as revised in 2015)
A/RES/70/175.
10. An Order compelling the 1 st and 3 rd Respondents to keep the Ikoyi
Medium Security Custodial Centre in the good shape, provide the
necessary vocational, educational, recreational health facilities and
reduce the overcrowding by building more correctional facilities in the
Lagos State within 12 months from the date judgment is delivered in
this case.
11. An Order compelling the 4 th Respondent to make necessary returns
every ninety days from the date of judgment in this application to the
2 nd and 7 th Respondents on the number of persons awaiting trial held in
custody at the Ikoyi Medium Security Custodial Centre as required
under Section 111(1) of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act,
2015, and also compelling the 2 nd and 7 th Respondents to act on the
returns within two months from the judgment of in this application in
ensuring that the Ikoyi Medium Security Custodial Centre is de-
congested.
12. An Order compelling the 5 th Respondent to notify, within one week
from the judgment in this application, the 6 th and 7 th Respondents
where the Ikoyi Medium Security Custodial Centre has exceeded its
capacity; and compelling the 6 th and 7 th Respondents to act within three
months from the notification on finding a way to decongest the Ikoyi
Medium Security Custodial pursuant to the Section 12(4) and (7) of the
Nigerian Correctional Service Act, 2019.
13. An Order directing the unconditional release of the inmates falling

Page 5 of 39

into (6) and (7) above forthwith.
14. An Order directing the Respondents to tender public apology in at
least two widely read newspapers for violating the rights to the inmates
in (1) – (10) for the various violations of their rights as stated under
those heads.
15. And Further or other Orders as this Honourable Court may deem
fit to make in the circumstance.
And take notice that on the hearing of this motion the said applicant will
use the verifying affidavit and the exhibits therein referred to.
DATED this …………………day of………………………….2019

_____________________________
AHMED ADETOLA-KAZEEM(SIGNED)
NURUDEEN TEMILOLA YUSUF
LUKMAN JAIYEOLA
SILAS ABISOGUN
Applicant’s Counsel
Prisoners’ Rights Advocacy Initiative
33A Mabinuori Dawodu Street
Gbagada Phase
Gbagada, Lagos.
08077470336;
aadetolakazeem@prai.org.ng
aadetolakazeem@nigerianbar.ng
aadetolakazeem@gmail.com

FOR SERVICE ON
1. 1st and 2nd Respondents
Attorney General’s Office
Federal Ministry of Justice
Plot 71B Shehu Shagari Way,
Maitama Abuja
3. The 3rd Respondent
Ministry of Interior
Old Secretariat, Area I,
Garki, Abuja, FCT
Old Secretariat Area l Garki Abuja FCT Abuja

Page 6 of 39

4. The 4th Respondent
Nigerian Correctional Service Headquarters
Bill Clinton Drive,
Airport Road
Abuja
5. The 5th Respondent
Nigerian Correctional Service, Lagos State Command
Alagbon Close,
Ikoyi, Lagos
6. The 6th Respondent
Attorney General’s Chambers
Lagos State Ministry of Justice
Alausa, Lagos
7. The 7th Respondent
Office of the Chief Judge of Lagos State
High Court of Justice
Ikeja, Lagos


IN THE FEDERAL HIGH COURT
IN THE LAGOS JUDICIAL DIVISION
HOLDEN AT LAGOS

Suit No…………..
IN THE MATTER OF AN APPLICATION BY THE INCORPORATED
TRUSTEES OF THE PRISONERS’ RIGHTS ADVOCACY INITIATIVE, SUING
ON BEHALF OF THE INMATES OF THE IKOYI MEDIUM SECURITY
CUSTODIAL CENTRE FOR AN ORDER FOR THE ENFORCEMENT OF THE
INMATES’ FUNDAMENTAL HUMAN RIGHTS
AND
IN THE MATTER OF THE INCORPORATED TRUSTEES OF THE
PRISONERS’ RIGHTS ADVOCACY INITIATIVE
BETWEEN
THE INCORPORATED TRUSTEES OF
PRISONERS RIGHTS’ ADVOCACY INITIATIVE – APPLICANT

Page 7 of 39

  AND
1. THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT OF NIGERIA
2. THE ATTORNEY GENERAL OF THE FEDERATION
3. THE MINISTER OF INTERIOR
4. THE CONTROLLER-GENERAL OF THE NIGERIAN
CORRECTIONAL SERVICE
5. LAGOS STATE CONTROLLER OF RESPONDENTS
CORRECTIONAL, SERVICE
6. ATTORNEY GENERAL OF LAGOS STATE
7. CHIEF JUDGE OF LAGOS STATE

STATEMENT OF FACTS
1. NAME AND DESCRIPTION OF THE APPLICANT
The Applicant, the Incorporated Trustees of the Prisoners’ Rights
Advocacy Initiative, is a non-governmental organization advocating
for the rights of inmates behind bars and providing pro-bono legal
and rehabilitation services to inmates and ex-inmates. The Applicant
was incorporated under Part C of the Companies and Allied Matters
Act CAP C20 LFN 2004 in 2012.
The Applicant has brought this application on behalf of the inmates
of the Ikoyi Medium Security Custodial Centre, for the gross violation
of their fundamental human rights by the Respondents.
2. RELIEFS SOUGHT BY THE APPLICANT
1. A Declaration that the overcrowding of the Ikoyi Medium Security
Custodial Centre, which was originally built in 1955 to
accommodate 800 inmates, but, now holding about 3,113 inmates
as at 3rd December 2019 is unconstitutional and violates the
inmates’ fundamental right of freedom from degrading treatment
and respect for dignity of their persons under Section 34(1) of the
Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as
amended).
2. A Declaration that the overcrowding of the Ikoyi Medium Security
Custodial Centre, which was originally built in 1955 to
accommodate 800 inmates, but, now holding about 3,113 inmates as at 3rd December 2019 is a breach of Section 12(8) of the Nigerian Correctional Service Act 2019 which requires the 5th Respondent’s not to keep inmates in excess of the Custodial Centre’s capacity.
3. A Declaration that the overcrowding of the Ikoyi Medium Security
Custodial Centre, which was originally built in 1955 to
accommodate 800 inmates, but now holding about 3,113 inmates
as at 3rd December 2019 is a breach of the 1 st Respondent’s
duties under Rules 1, 12 and 13 the United Nations Standard
Minimum Rules for Treatment of Prisoners (as revised in 2015)
A/RES/70/175 to maintain the minimum standard of
accommodation of inmates.
4. A Declaration that the overcrowding of the Ikoyi Medium Security
Custodial Centre, which was originally built in 1955 to
accommodate 800 inmates, but, now holding about 3,113 inmates
as at 3rd December 2019 is indicative of the neglect of the 4 th
Respondent’s duty under Section 111(1) of the Administration of
Criminal Justice Act, 2015 to make returns to the 2 nd and 7 th
Respondents every ninety days on the number of persons
awaiting trial held in custody at the Ikoyi Medium Security
Custodial Centre.
5. A Declaration that the overcrowding of the Ikoyi Medium Security
Custodial Centre, which was originally built in 1955 to
accommodate 800 inmates, but, now holding about 3,113 inmates
as at 3rd December 2019 is indicative of the neglect of the 5 th
Respondent’s duty under Section 12(4) of the Nigerian
Correctional Service Act, 2019 to notify the 6 th and 7 th
Respondents, within one week, once the Ikoyi Medium Security
Custodial Centre exceeds its capacity; and its duty under Section
12(8) of the Nigerian Correctional Service Act, 2019 to reject more
inmates in excess of the capacity of the Ikoyi Medium Security
Custodial Centre;
6. A Declaration that the arrest and continued remand, without
proper arraignment and trial in a court of competent jurisdiction, of

Page 9 of 39
all inmates as of the day of judgment in this application, who have
been in custody for period in excess of two months in case of
those not entitled to bail, and three months in case of the those
entitled to bail, is unlawful and unconstitutional and a violation of
their fundamental right to personal liberty and freedom of
movement as guaranteed by Sections 35(4) and 41 of the
Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended)
and Article 6 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’
Rights (Ratification and Enforcement) Act CAP A9 LFN 2004.
7. A Declaration that the arrest and continued remand, without
proper arraignment and trial in a court of competent jurisdiction, of
all inmates as of the day of judgment in this application, who have
been in custody for period in excess of the maximum
imprisonment terms of the respective offences they have been
charged is unlawful and unconstitutional as it violates their
fundamental right to personal liberty and freedom of movement as
guaranteed by Sections 35(1)(f) and 41 of the Constitution of the
Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended).
8. A Declaration that the dearth or lack of functional basic
amenities, including state of the art vocational and recreational
centres, and health facilities in the Ikoyi Medium Security
Correctional Centre is unlawful and violates inmates’ fundamental
rights under Section 34(1)(a) of the Constitution of the Federal
Republic of Nigeria (as amended) and also a breach of the 1 st
Respondent’s duties under the United Nations Standard Minimum
Rules for Treatment of Prisoners (as revised in 2015)
A/RES/70/175.
9. A Declaration that the 1 st – 5 th Respondents’ failure to keep a safe
and conducive custody of inmates in the Ikoyi Medium Security
Custodial Centre, was responsible for the electrocution incident
which led to the death of at least five inmates and injury of at least
10 others and is also a breach of the inmates’ rights of freedom
from inhuman and degrading treatment enshrined in Section
34(1)(a) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria,
Sections 10(b), 14(8) and 24 of the Nigerian Correctional Act,

Page 10 of 39
2019 and the United Nations Standard Minimum Rules for
Treatment of Prisoners (as revised in 2015) A/RES/70/175.
10. An Order compelling the 1 st and 3 rd Respondents to keep the
Ikoyi Medium Security Custodial Centre in the good shape,
provide the necessary vocational, educational, recreational health
facilities and reduce the overcrowding by building more
correctional facilities in the Lagos State within 12 months from the
date judgment is delivered in this case.
11. An Order compelling the 4 th Respondent to make necessary
returns every ninety days from the date of judgment in this
application to the 2 nd and 7 th Respondents on the number of
persons awaiting trial held in custody at the Ikoyi Medium Security
Custodial Centre as required under Section 111(1) of the
Administration of Criminal Justice Act, 2015, and also compelling
the 2 nd and 7 th Respondents to act on the returns within two
months from the judgment of in this application in ensuring that
the Ikoyi Medium Security Custodial Centre is de-congested.
12. An Order compelling the 5 th Respondent to notify, within one
week from the judgment in this application, the 6 th and 7 th
Respondents where the Ikoyi Medium Security Custodial Centre
has exceeded its capacity; and compelling the 6 th and 7 th
Respondents to act within three months from the notification on
finding a way to decongest the Ikoyi Medium Security Custodial
pursuant to the Section 12(4) and (7) of the Nigerian Correctional
Service Act, 2019.
13. An Order directing the unconditional release of the inmates
falling into (6) and (7) above forthwith.

14. An Order directing the Respondents to tender public apology
in at least two widely read newspapers for violating the rights to
the inmates in (1) – (10) for the various violations of their rights as
stated under those heads.
15. And Further or other Orders as this Honourable Court may

Page 11 of 39

deem fit to make in the circumstance.

3. GROUNDS FOR SEEKING THE RELIEFS
a. That under binding national, regional and international
legislations, Nigeria, through its many agencies and authorities,
is mandated to the keep her prisons/correctional centres with
certain minimum standards for the treatment of inmates;
b. That, specifically, by virtue of Section 34(1)(a) of the Constitution
of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended), Article 5
of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights
(Ratification and Enforcement) Act, Article 7 of the Convention
Against Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman and Degrading
Treatment or Punishment, Article 10 of the Convention on Civil
and Political Rights, every individual, inmate or not, is entitled
to respect for the dignity of his person and not to be subjected to
inhuman or degrading treatment.
c. That by Section 35(1)(f) of the Constitution of the Federal
Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended), persons awaiting trial
shall not continue to be kept in detention for a period longer than
the maximum periods of imprisonment prescribed for the
offences they have been charged.
d. That by Section 35(4) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic
of Nigeria 1999 (as amended), persons arrested or detained and
who have not been tried within a period of two months in case of
those entitled to bail or three months in case of those not entitled
to bail, shall be released either conditionally or unconditionally
upon such conditions as are reasonably necessary to ensure
they appear at trial at a later date.
e. That by the combined reading of Section 4(2)(a), Section
10(b)(c), and (f), Section 14(8) of the Nigerian Correctional
Service Act, 2019, the 1 st – 5 th Respondent have a joint
responsibility to provide safe-secure and humane custody for
inmates at the Ikoyi Medium Security Custodial Centre.
f. That by Rules 1, 12 and 13 of the United Nations Standard
Minimum Rules for Treatment of Prisoners (Revised in 2015)
A/RES/70/175, the 1 st Respondent has a duty to the keep the

Page 12 of 39
Ikoyi Medium Security Custodial Centre uncrowded and in a
dignified, safe-secure and humane condition.
g. That by Section 111(1) of the Administration of Criminal Justice
Act, 2015, the 4 th Respondent is mandated to make necessary
returns every ninety days to the 2 nd and 7 th Respondents on the
number of persons awaiting trial held in custody at the Ikoyi
Medium Security Custodial Centre, and in turn, by Section
111(3) of the same Act, the 2 st and 7th Respondents are
expected to act on the returns in ensuring that the Ikoyi Medium
Security Custodial Centre is de-congested.
h. That by the combined reading of Section 12(4) of the Nigerian
Correctional Service Act, 2019, the 5 th Respondent is mandated
to notify the 6 th and 7 th Respondents, within one week, where the
Ikoyi Medium Security Custodial Centre has exceeded its
capacity; and by Section 12(7) of the same Act, the 6 th and 7 th
Respondents are mandated to rectify the overcrowding within
three months.
i. That as at that date of this application, and in violation of the
previously cited provisions of law, the Ikoyi Medium Security
Custodial Centre holds 3,113 inmates as opposed to the 800
inmates it was originally built to hold in 1955.
j. That the overcrowding of the Ikoyi Medium Security Custodial
Centre, with the attendant over-stretching of the limited facilities,
is in breach of the inmates’ right to dignity of their persons and
freedom from degrading and inhuman treatment; and that also
the overcrowding aggravated the recent electrocution incident on
the 2 nd of December where at least five inmates lost their lives
and at least ten were seriously injured.
k. That with the statistics stating that 2, 680 of the 3,113 total
inmates, as at 3 rd December, 2019, in Ikoyi Medium Security
Custodial Centre are awaiting trial and quite a number of the
inmates have spent periods longer than the maximum periods of
imprisonment for the offences they have been charged, the

Page 13 of 39
constitutional rights of this category of inmates (“awaiting trial”)
have been grossly infringed upon.
l. That the overcrowding of the Ikoyi Medium Security Custodial
Centre is a result of the neglect by 4 th Respondent of his duty to
make return under Section 111(1) of the Administration of
Criminal Justice Act, 2015 and of the 5 th Respondent’s to notify
the appropriate authorities under Section 12(4) of the Nigerian
Correctional Service Act, 2019. Where those returns and notices
have been made and given, the overcrowding shows that the 2 nd
and 7 th Respondents have failed to act on the returns in ensuring
that the Ikoyi Medium Security Custodial Centre is de-
congested, on the one hand, and the 6 th and 7 th Respondents
have failed to rectify the overcrowding within three months, on
the other.
m. That this Honourable Court, is vested with power by virtue of
Section 46(1) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of
Nigeria, Order 2 Rule 1, and Order 11 of the Fundamental
Rights (Enforcement Procedure) Rules, 2009 to hear this
application and grant all reliefs, including consequential reliefs,
to ensure that the violation of the rights of the inmates are
brought to check.

  DATED this 10 th day of December 2019

_____________________________
AHMED ADETOLA-KAZEEM(SIGNED)
NURUDEEN TEMILOLA YUSUF
LUKMAN JAIYEOLA
SILAS ABISOGUN
Applicant’s Counsel
Prisoners’ Rights Advocacy Initiative
33A Mabinuori Dawodu Street
Gbagada Phase
Gbagada, Lagos.
08077470336;
aadetolakazeem@prai.org.ng
aadetolakazeem@nigerianbar.ng
aadetolakazeem@gmail.com

Page 14 of 39

FOR SERVICE ON
1. 1st and 2nd Respondents
Attorney General’s Office
Federal Ministry of Justice
Plot 71B Shehu Shagari Way,
Maitama Abuja
3. The 3rd Respondent
Ministry of Interior
Old Secretariat, Area I,
Garki, Abuja, FCT
Old Secretariat Area l Garki Abuja FCT Abuja
4. The 4th Respondent
Nigerian Correctional Service Headquarters
Bill Clinton Drive,
Airport Road
Abuja
5. The 5th Respondent
Nigerian Correctional Service, Lagos State Command
Alagbon Close,
Ikoyi, Lagos
6. The 6th Respondent
Attorney General’s Chambers
Lagos State Ministry of Justice
Alausa, Lagos
7. The 7th Respondent
Office of the Chief Judge of Lagos State
High Court of Justice
Ikeja
Lagos


IN THE FEDERAL HIGH COURT
IN THE LAGOS JUDICIAL DIVISION
HOLDEN AT LAGOS

Page 15 of 39

Suit No…………..

IN THE MATTER OF AN APPLICATION BY THE INCORPORATED
TRUSTEES OF THE PRISONERS’ RIGHTS ADVOCACY INITIATIVE, SUING
ON BEHALF OF THE INMATES OF THE IKOYI MEDIUM SECURITY
CUSTODIAL CENTRE FOR AN ORDER FOR THE ENFORCEMENT OF THE
INMATES’ FUNDAMENTAL HUMAN RIGHTS
AND
IN THE MATTER OF THE INCORPORATED TRUSTEES OF THE
PRISONERS’ RIGHTS ADVOCACY INITIATIVE
BETWEEN
THE INCORPORATED TRUSTEES OF
PRISONERS RIGHTS ADVOCACY INITIATIVE – APPLICANT
  AND
1. THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT OF NIGERIA
2. THE ATTORNEY GENERAL OF THE FEDERATION
3. THE MINISTER OF INTERIOR
4. THE CONTROLLER-GENERAL OF THE NIGERIAN
CORRECTIONAL SERVICE
5. LAGOS STATE CONTROLLER OF RESPONDENTS
CORRECTIONAL, SERVICE
6. ATTORNEY GENERAL OF LAGOS STATE
7. CHIEF JUDGE OF LAGOS STATE

VERIFYING AFFIDAVIT

I, Oluwadunsin Komolafe, Female, Nigerian, Adult, Legal Practitioner of
33A Mabinuori Dawodu Street, Gbagada, Lagos do hereby make Oath and
state that:
1. I am a counsel with the Applicant, a duly registered non-
governmental organisation providing pro-bono legal and
rehabilitation services to prison inmates in Nigeria, and by virtue of
my duty, I am familiar with the facts of this application.
2. I have the authority of the Applicant to depose to this affidavit.
3. The 1 st Respondent is constitutionally vested with the powers to
establish and fund the Nigerian Correctional Service.

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4. The 2 nd Respondent is the Chief Law Officer of the Federal Republic
of Nigeria.
5. The 3rd Respondent maintains a supervisory oversight over the
Nigerian Correctional Service, under which the Ikoyi Medium
Security Custodial Centre falls.
6. That the 4 th Respondent is the head of the Nigerian Correctional
Service who has administrative responsibilities over all Custodial
Centres in Nigeria, including the Ikoyi Medium Security Custodial
Centre.
7. The 5 th Respondent is the administrative head of all Custodial
Centres in Lagos State.
8. The 6 th Respondent is the Chief Legal Officer of Lagos State.
9. The 7 th Respondent is the head of the Lagos State Judiciary.
10. In the course of my work, my earlier volunteer experience and
training as a legal practitioner, I know that that there are generally
acceptable minimum standards for treatment of inmates that every
country is expected to meet, which include that:
10.1. inmates should be kept in dignified, safe and secure custody;
10.2. a correctional facility should not at any time be overcrowded;
10.3. necessary vocational, recreational and health facilities are to
be provided in the prions by the relevant authorities;
10.4. persons awaiting trial are not to be kept for periods longer
than the maximum periods of the punishment of the offences
they have been charged;
10.5. persons awaiting trial should be released either conditionally
or unconditionally after a reasonable period after they have
been detained; and
10.6. these minimum standards are contained in national, regional
and international legislations under which Nigeria has strict
obligations to comply.

11. The 1 st – 5 th Respondents have failed to keep the Nigerian
Correctional Centre in dignified, safe, secure and humane conditions
by the very fact of the overcrowding and overstretching of the limited
facilities in the Ikoyi Medium Security Custodial Centre.
12. The Ikoyi Medium Security Custodial Centre was built in 1955
to hold 800 inmates but now holds 3,113 as at December 3, 2019.
The Certified True Copy of the Vanguard Newspaper of December

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3, 2019, containing this statistic is hereby attached and marked
Exhibit A.
13. The 1 st – 5 th Respondents did not provide the necessary
vocational, recreational and health facilities in the Ikoyi Medium
Security Custodial Centre. The electronically-generated Copy of the
Amnesty International Report titled “Nigeria: Prisoners’ Rights
Systematically Flouted” detailing, the sad state of infrastructural
decay in Ikoyi Medium Security Custodial Centre is hereby attached
and marked Exhibit B.
14. This neglect by the 1 st – 5 th Respondents has resulted in
various violations of the fundamental rights of the inmates of the
Ikoyi Medium Security Custodial Centre including their right to dignity
of their persons, personal liberty, and freedom of movement.
15. The Ikoyi Medium Security Custodial Centre which the 3 rd , 4 th
and 5 th Respondents are administratively responsible for, has
persons awaiting trial who have been detained for period longer than
the maximum imprisonment terms of the various offences they have
been charged.
16. Further to above, these inmates have not been released either
conditionally or unconditionally after two months in the case of those
entitled to bail and three months in the case of those who are not
entitled to bail.
17. The 4 th Respondent has failed to make necessary returns
every ninety days to the 2nd and 7th Respondents on the number of
persons awaiting trial held in custody at the Ikoyi Medium Security
Custodial Centre as required, nor did the 2 nd and 7 th Respondents act
on the returns, where made, in ensuring that the Ikoyi Medium
Security Custodial Centre is decongested.
18. The 1 st – 5 th Respondents did not provide safe-secure and
humane custody for inmates at the Ikoyi Medium Security Custodial
Centre.
19. The 5th Respondent did not notify the 6 th and 7th
Respondents, within one week that the Ikoyi Medium Security
Custodial Centre had exceeded its capacity; and 6 th and 7th
Respondents also failed to rectify the overcrowding within the three
months as provided by law after such notification.

Page 18 of 39
20. The 5 th Respondent failed to reject more inmates when the
Centre became extremely overcrowded with four times more than
the required number.
21. The various dereliction of duties by the Respondents have
resulted in breach of fundamental rights of the inmates of the Ikoyi
Medium Security Custodial Centre which has resulted in the
overcrowding of the Centre and by extension aggravated the recent
electrocution incident which led to the death of at least five inmates
and injured more than 10 inmates on Monday 2 nd December 2019 as
reported in Page 42 of the Vanguard Newspaper of 3rd December
2019. The Newspaper excerpts duly certified in the National Library,
is hereby attached and marked as Exhibit A already referred to in
paragraph 12 above.
22. The Applicant has brought this application in the interest of
justice and on behalf of the inmates of the Ikoyi Medium Security
Custodial Centre.
23. It is in the interest of justice that this application be granted.
24. I depose to this affidavit in good faith and in accordance with
the Oaths Act, 2004.

_______________
D E P O N E N T

Sworn to at the
Federal High Court Registry, Ikoyi
this…….day of………………….2019
BEFORE ME

COMMISSIONER FOR OATHS
IN THE FEDERAL HIGH COURT
IN THE LAGOS JUDICIAL DIVISION
HOLDEN AT LAGOS

Suit No…………..

IN THE MATTER OF AN APPLICATION BY THE INCORPORATED
TRUSTEES OF THE PRISONERS RIGHTS’ ADVOCACY INITIATIVE, SUING
ON BEHALF OF THE INMATES OF THE IKOYI MEDIUM SECURITY
CUSTODIAL CENTRE FOR AN ORDER FOR THE ENFORCEMENT OF THE
INMATES’ FUNDAMENTAL HUMAN RIGHTS

Page 19 of 39

AND
IN THE MATTER OF THE INCORPORATED TRUSTEES OF THE
PRISONERS’ RIGHTS ADVOCACY INITIATIVE
BETWEEN
THE INCORPORATED TRUSTEES OF
PRISONERS’ RIGHTS ADVOCACY INITIATIVE – APPLICANT

  AND
1. THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT OF NIGERIA
2. THE ATTORNEY GENERAL OF THE FEDERATION
3. THE MINISTER OF INTERIOR
4. THE CONTROLLER-GENERAL OF THE NIGERIAN
CORRECTIONAL SERVICE
5. LAGOS STATE CONTROLLER OF RESPONDENTS
CORRECTIONAL, SERVICE
6. ATTORNEY GENERAL OF LAGOS STATE
7. CHIEF JUDGE OF LAGOS STATE

WRITTEN ADDRESS IN SUPPORT OF THE APPLICATION

1. INTRODUCTION
1.1 This is an Address in support of the Applicant’s Originating Motion
on Notice dated the 10 th day of December 2019.
1.2 The said Originating Motion on Notice is praying the Court for:
1. A Declaration that the overcrowding of the Ikoyi Medium
Security Custodial Centre, which was originally built in 1955 to
accommodate 800 inmates, but, now holding about 3,113
inmates as at 3rd December 2019 is unconstitutional and
violates the inmates’ fundamental right of freedom from
degrading treatment and respect for dignity of their persons
under Section 34(1) of the Constitution of the Federal
Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended).
2. A Declaration that the overcrowding of the Ikoyi Medium
Security Custodial Centre, which was originally built in 1955 to

Page 20 of 39
accommodate 800 inmates, but, now holding about 3,113
inmates as at 3rd December 2019 is a breach of Section 12(8)
of the Nigerian Correctional Service Act 2019 which requires
the 5 th Respondent’s not to keep inmates in excess of the
Custodial Centre’s capacity.
3. A Declaration that the overcrowding of the Ikoyi Medium
Security Custodial Centre, which was originally built in 1955 to
accommodate 800 inmates, but now holding about 3,113
inmates as at 3rd December 2019 is a breach of the 1 st
Respondent’s duties under Rules 1, 12 and 13 the United
Nations Standard Minimum Rules for Treatment of Prisoners
(as revised in 2015) A/RES/70/175 to maintain the minimum
standard of accommodation of inmates.
4. A Declaration that the overcrowding of the Ikoyi Medium
Security Custodial Centre, which was originally built in 1955 to
accommodate 800 inmates, but, now holding about 3,113
inmates as at 3rd December 2019 is indicative of the neglect
of the 4 th Respondent’s duty under Section 111(1) of the
Administration of Criminal Justice Act, 2015 to make returns to
the 2 nd and 7 th Respondents every ninety days on the number
of persons awaiting trial held in custody at the Ikoyi Medium
Security Custodial Centre.
5. A Declaration that the overcrowding of the Ikoyi Medium
Security Custodial Centre, which was originally built in 1955 to
accommodate 800 inmates, but, now holding about 3,113
inmates as at 3rd December 2019 is indicative of the neglect
of the 5 th Respondent’s duty under Section 12(4) of the
Nigerian Correctional Service Act, 2019 to notify the 6 th and 7 th
Respondents, within one week, once the Ikoyi Medium
Security Custodial Centre exceeds its capacity; and its duty
under Section 12(8) of the Nigerian Correctional Service Act,
2019 to reject more inmates in excess of the capacity of the
Ikoyi Medium Security Custodial Centre.
6. A Declaration that the arrest and continued remand, without

Page 21 of 39
proper arraignment and trial in a court of competent
jurisdiction, of all inmates as of the day of judgment in this
application, who have been in custody for period in excess of
two months in case of those not entitled to bail, and three
months in case of the those entitled to bail, is unlawful and
unconstitutional and a violation of their fundamental right to
personal liberty and freedom of movement as guaranteed by
Sections 35(4) and 41 of the Constitution of the Federal
Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended) and Article 6 of the
African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights (Ratification
and Enforcement) Act CAP A9 LFN 2004.
7. A Declaration that the arrest and continued remand, without
proper arraignment and trial in a court of competent
jurisdiction, of all inmates as of the day of judgment in this
application, who have been in custody for period in excess of
the maximum imprisonment terms of the respective offences
they have been charged is unlawful and unconstitutional as it
violates their fundamental right to personal liberty and freedom
of movement as guaranteed by Sections 35(1)(f) and 41 of the
Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as
amended).
8. A Declaration that the dearth or lack of functional basic
amenities, including state of the art vocational and recreational
centres, and health facilities in the Ikoyi Medium Security
Correctional Centre is unlawful and violates inmates’
fundamental rights under Section 34(1)(a) of the Constitution
of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended) and also a
breach of the 1 st Respondent’s duties under the United
Nations Standard Minimum Rules for Treatment of Prisoners
(as revised in 2015) A/RES/70/175.
9. A Declaration that the 1 st – 5 th Respondents’ failure to keep a
safe and conducive custody of inmates in the Ikoyi Medium
Security Custodial Centre, was responsible for the
electrocution incident which led to the death of at least five
inmates and injury of at least 10 others and is also a breach of

Page 22 of 39
the inmates’ rights of freedom from inhuman and degrading
treatment enshrined in Section 34(1)(a) of the Constitution of
the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Sections 10(b), 14(8) and 24
of the Nigerian Correctional Act, 2019 and the United Nations
Standard Minimum Rules for Treatment of Prisoners (as
revised in 2015) A/RES/70/175.
10. An Order compelling the 1 st and 3 rd Respondents to
keep the Ikoyi Medium Security Custodial Centre in the good
shape, provide the necessary vocational, educational,
recreational health facilities and reduce the overcrowding by
building more correctional facilities in the Lagos State within
12 months from the date judgment is delivered in this case.
11. An Order compelling the 4 th Respondent to make
necessary returns every ninety days from the date of judgment
in this application to the 2 nd and 7 th Respondents on the
number of persons awaiting trial held in custody at the Ikoyi
Medium Security Custodial Centre as required under Section
111(1) of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, 2015, and
also compelling the 2 nd and 7 th Respondents to act on the
returns within two months from the judgment of in this
application in ensuring that the Ikoyi Medium Security
Custodial Centre is de-congested.
12. An Order compelling the 5 th Respondent to notify, within
one week from the judgment in this application, the 6 th and 7 th
Respondents where the Ikoyi Medium Security Custodial
Centre has exceeded its capacity; and compelling the 6 th and
7 th Respondents to act within three months from the
notification on finding a way to decongest the Ikoyi Medium
Security Custodial pursuant to the Section 12(4) and (7) of the
Nigerian Correctional Service Act, 2019.
13. An Order directing the unconditional release of the
inmates falling into (6) and (7) above forthwith.
14. An Order directing the Respondents to tender public

Page 23 of 39
apology in at least two widely read newspapers for violating
the rights to the inmates in (1) – (10) for the various violations
of their rights as stated under those heads.
15. And Further or other Orders as this Honourable Court
may deem fit to make in the circumstance.
1.3. The Originating Motion is supported by a Statement setting out
the name and address of the Applicant and a 24 paragraph
Affidavit, deposed to by one Oluwadunsin Komolafe setting out
the facts upon which this application is brought.

2. STATEMENT OF FACTS
2.1 The Statement of Facts is as stated in the supporting Affidavit
accompanying the Originating Motion on Notice.
3. ISSUES FOR DETERMINATION
3.1. The Applicant has submitted the following issues for the determination
by this Honourable Court:
3.1.1. Whether the overcrowding of the Ikoyi Medium Custodial
Centre does not constitute a breach of the fundamental rights
of the inmates to freedom from inhuman and degrading
treatment.
3.1.2. Whether the Fundamental Human Right to liberty and freedom
of movement of the relevant number of the inmates of the Ikoyi
Medium Security Custodial Centre remanded, without trial
before a competent court, for periods exceeding, in the first
instance, two months in the case of those entitled to bail or
three months in the case of those not entitled to bail, and in
the second instance, the maximum imprisonment terms of the
offences for which they are charged, have not been breached.
3.1.3. Whether the overcrowding of the Ikoyi Medium Security
Custodial Centre, which was originally built in 1955 to hold
800 inmates, but now holds 3,113 inmates as at December 3,
2019, is not indicative of dereliction of duties imposed on the
Respondents, in one capacity or the other, and under one
relevant legislation or the other.

Page 24 of 39

4. LEGAL ARGUMENT
ISSUE ONE: Whether the overcrowding of the Ikoyi Medium Custodial
Centre does not constitute a breach of the fundamental
rights of the inmates.

4.1. My Lord, we humbly submit that the overcrowding of the Ikoyi
Medium Custodial Centre, which was built in 1955 for 800 inmates
but as at December 3, 2019, now holds 3113 inmates, amounts to
breach of the fundamental right to dignity of person and freedom
from degrading treatment of each of the inmates of the Custodial
Centre.
4.2. Every citizen is entitled to respect of the dignity of his person, and
accordingly no person should be subjected to torture, inhuman or
degrading treatment. See Eze v. I.G.P (2017) 4 NWLR (Pt. 1554)
44. Section 34 (1)(a) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of
Nigeria, 1999 is hereby reproduced for ease of reference:
Every individual is entitled to respect for the dignity of
his person, and accordingly – (a) no person shall be
subject to torture or to inhuman or degrading treatment.
4.3. In A.G Kebbi State V. Jokolo (2013) LPELR-22349(CA) the court
held thus:
The learned authors of Black’s Law Dictionary, 9 th edition, page
854 also define “inhuman treatment” as “Physical or mental
cruelty so severe that it endangers life or health.” A degrading
treatment is to do unpleasant things to someone and to make
him lose self-respect. Thus “degradation” is “1. A reduction in
rank, degree dignity… a lessening of a person’s or things
character or quality… A wearing down of something, as by
erosion.” See Black’s Law Dictionary (Supra), page 488.” Per
Tur, JCA. (Pp. 68-69, paras. F-A)

4.4. Furthermore, Article 5 of the African Charter on Human and
Peoples’ Rights (Ratification and Enforcement) Act Cap A9 LFN
2004 provides that “every individual shall have the right to the
respect of the dignity inherent in a human being and to the
recognition of his legal status…” See also Article 7 of the
Convention Against Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman and

Page 25 of 39
Degrading Treatment or Punishment; Article 10 of the Convention
on Civil and Political Rights.
4.5. My Lord, Rules 12 and 13 of the United Nations Standard Minimum
Rules for Treatment of Prisoners (as revised in 2015)
A/RES/70/175, also known as “Nelson Mandela Rules”, are
particularly instructive on what is the universally accepted standard
of accommodation of inmates. The Rules have been reproduced
here for the ease of reference:
Rule 12
1. Where sleeping accommodation is in individual cells
or rooms, each prisoner shall occupy by night a cell or
room by himself or herself. If for special reasons, such
as temporary overcrowding, it becomes necessary for
the central prison administration to make an exception
to this rule, it is not desirable to have two prisoners in
a cell or room.
2. Where dormitories are used, they shall be occupied
by prisoners carefully selected as being suitable to
associate with one another in those conditions. There
shall be regular supervision by night, in keeping with
the nature of the prison.
Rule 13
All accommodation provided for the use of prisoners
and in particular all sleeping accommodation shall
meet all requirements of health, due regard being paid
to climatic conditions and particularly to cubic content
of air, minimum floor space, lighting, heating and
ventilation. (Emphasis ours)

4.6. Accordingly, a situation, as we now have in the Ikoyi Medium
Custodial Centre, where the Custodial Centre is overtly choked, and
living on up to 400% per cent of its capacity is heart wrenching and
constitutes a breach of the inmates’ right to respect for the dignity of
their person and freedom from inhuman and degrading treatment.
4.7. The direct implication of the overcrowding is the strain on the limited
facilities in the prison. This makes the environment the perfect
habitat for various communicable diseases, leaving the inmates

Page 26 of 39
exposed and very vulnerable to all sorts. A reference in point is the
latest report of electrocution of five inmates of the Ikoyi Custodial
Centre, which as admitted in an official statement made by the
Nigerian Correctional Service’s spokesperson, Francis Enobore, on
behalf of the Controller General, was due to the overcrowding of the
cell the inmates were staying. According to him, “the cell, where the
disaster occurred, had capacity for 35 inmates, but contained 140
persons”. This is captured in Vanguard Newspaper’s article of 3 rd
December 2019 at Page 42 titled “Ikoyi Prison Tragedy: How 6
inmates were electrocuted; attached as Exhibit A to the affidavit in
support of this application.
4.8. To reiterate the implication of the Nelson Mandela Rules, the
universally acceptable standard for accommodation is one prisoner
per cell. Although the Rules is silent on the numbers of inmates by
dormitories, it cannot be imagined, in the remotest, that 140
inmates in a dormitory with 35 inmate capacity is an acceptable
standard. It is must be stated that a typical dormitory in the Ikoyi
Custodial Centre has only one toilet to serve over a hundred
inmates.
4.9. A gory picture of the situation of the Centre was painted by
Amnesty International in its 2008 report, a situation which has
grown much worse at the moment. The report state thus:
Twenty to 30 new inmates arrive at Ikoyi prison every
day. The prison is extremely overcrowded: it was built
for 800 inmates but contained 1,933 men at the time of
Amnesty International’s visit, of whom 1,820 (94 per
cent) were awaiting trial.
“We don’t have enough space, that’s my concern here,”
said the officer in charge. “The buildings are
dilapidated. They need to be reconstructed.” Most
cells are large dormitories meant for 50 inmates but
where up to 100 men share a single toilet. Only half of
the inmates sleep in a bed. Disease is widespread;
cells are unclean and offer little ventilation. Convicted
prisoners and a few other inmates are allowed outside
their cells to exercise or for outdoor recreation but
most inmates only go outside once a week. There is
no running water inside the cells, so those who are
locked up are dependent for water on those who are
able to leave the cells.

Page 27 of 39
See Amnesty International, ‘Nigeria: Prisoners’ Rights
Systematically Flouted’ (2008) at page 22. A copy is available
at<https://www.amnesty.org/download/Documents/52000/afr4
40012008eng.pdf> attached as Exhibit B to the affidavit in
support of this application.
4.10. From the foregoing, it is established that the overcrowding situation,
described as “extremely overcrowded” by Amnesty International, in
the Ikoyi Medium Security Custodial Centre is far below the
international standard of accommodation for inmates and presently
at a tipping point. It also follows that the situation is a clear violation
of the inmates’ rights to respect for dignity of their persons and, as
we have seen in the case of the six electrocuted inmates,
constitutes a breach of their right to life. We urge this Honourable
Court to so hold.
ISSUE TWO: Whether the Fundamental Human Rights to liberty and
freedom of movement of the relevant number of the
inmates of the Ikoyi Medium Security Custodial Centre
remanded, without trial before a competent court, for
periods exceeding, in the first instance, two months in
the case of those entitled to bail or three months in the
case of those not entitled to bail, and in the second
instance, the maximum imprisonment terms of the
offences for which they are charged, have not been
breached.

4.11. My Lord, we humbly submit that the continued detention of persons
at the Ikoyi Medium Security Custodial Centre without trial in excess
of two months, in the case of those entitled to bail, or three months
in case of those not entitled to bail is unconstitutional and a breach
of their fundamental human right.
4.12. Our Constitution guarantees every person’s right to his personal
liberty and that he shall not be deprived of same except as
permitted by law. See Section 35(1) of the Constitution of the
Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended); Article 6 of the
African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights (Ratification and
Enforcement) Act.
4.13. One of the instances where a person’s right to personal liberty may
be deprived is where he has been arrested and detained for the
purpose of bringing him before a court upon a reasonable suspicion
of his having committed a criminal offence, or to such extent as may
be reasonably necessary to prevent his committing a criminal
offence. See Section 35(3)(c) of the Constitution of the Federal

Page 28 of 39

Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended).
4.14. However, the deprivation is not absolute. In the recognition of the
possibility of an abuse, the Constitution in Section 35(4) provides
thus:
(4) Any person who is arrested or detained in
accordance with subsection (1) (c) of this section shall
be brought before a court of law within a reasonable
time, and if he is not tried within a period of –
(a) two months from the date of his arrest or detention in
the case of a person who is in custody or is not entitled
to bail; or
(b) three months from the date of his arrest or detention
in the case of a person who has been released on bail,
he shall (without prejudice to any further proceedings
that may be brought against him) be released either
unconditionally or upon such conditions as are
reasonably necessary to ensure that he appears for trial
at a later date.

4.15. Contrary to the clear provision of the Constitution, there are persons
detained at the Ikoyi Custodial Centre for periods exceeding two or
three months without trial. Indeed in the earlier referenced
statement credited to the spokesman of the Nigerian Correctional
Centre, a whopping 2, 680 of the 3,113 inmates as at December 3,
2019, are awaiting trial at the Ikoyi Custodial Centre. What the law
provides for in such instance is that the inmates be released
unconditionally or on such conditions as are reasonably necessary
to ensure that he appears for trial at a later date. This accords with
international standards as can be seen in Article 9(3) of the
International Convention on Civil and Political Rights, 1966.
4.16. It is reiterated that the right to personal liberty, except when
curtailed within the precincts of the law, is sacred. This point was
buttressed in the case of Olawoye v. C.O.P (2006) 2 NWLR
(pt.965)445-446 where ABDULLAHI, J.C.A held as follows:
It is pertinent to state at this juncture that it is not in
dispute that the appellants have been in detention since
17 th August, 2004, a period of over nine months without
being charged to court for trial. This, needless to say, is
a flagrant violation of the right of the appellants as
provided under the provisions of the Constitution of the
Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999. Without much ado

Page 29 of 39
the appellants are entitled to be released
unconditionally or upon such conditions as are
necessary to ensure that they appear for trial at a later
date. (Emphasis ours)

4.17. It is sad to note that while awaiting trial, many inmates have spent
all their youth in detention. In some cases, some have died. To this
end, this Honourable Court is urged to hold that the continued
detention of persons without trial in excess of two months, in the
case of those entitled to bail, or three months in case of those not
entitled to bail at the Ikoyi Custodial Centre is unconstitutional and a
breach of their fundamental human rights. We urge the Court to so
hold.
4.18. As a corollary to the foregoing, we humbly submit that the continued
detention of persons without trial for periods longer than the
maximum periods of imprisonment prescribed for the offences for
which they are charged is unconstitutional and a breach of their
fundamental human right.
4.19. My Lord, as another proviso to the instance where the right to
personal liberty of a person may be deprived under Section 35(3) of
the Constitution, the Constitution provides thus:
… a person who is charged with an offence and who has
been detained in lawful custody awaiting trial shall not
continue to be kept in such detention for a period longer
than the maximum period of imprisonment prescribed
for the offence.

4.20. What we however have today at the Ikoyi Custodial Centre is that a
great number of the persons waiting trial have spent periods longer
than the maximum periods of imprisonment prescribed for their
offences. This is clearly unconstitutional and a breach of the
affected inmates’ fundamental rights to personal liberty and right to
freedom from degrading and inhuman treatment.
4.21. Inhuman treatment has been defined to mean physical or mental
cruelty so severe that it endangers life or health. The affected
inmates been remanded for only-God-knows-when without proper
arraignment and trial. They might not have been able to see any of
their family members or relations. It is a known fact that the
conditions of the Custodial Centres are distasteful.

Page 30 of 39
4.22. It is our contention based on the above cited provision of the
Constitution that the affected inmates deserve to be released
unconditionally or conditionally.
4.23. We are not unmindful of the provision of Section 35(7) of the
Constitution which provided that the rights guaranteed under
Section 35 may not be violated if the accused person has been
detained upon a reasonable suspicion of having committed a
capital offence.
4.24. With all respect, we submit that the framers of the Constitution
could never have intended that an accused person be remanded in
perpetuity just because he has been paraded, for instance, with a
murder charge.
4.25. The proviso has made it clear that there must be a reasonable
suspicion. We submit that reasonableness of a suspicion of an
offence could only be inferred from a proof of evidence. It therefore
follows that it is only in instances where a formal charge has been
drawn up that this may be invoked. However, in many cases, there
are no formal charges drawn, yet the inmates are kept permanently
in confinement. We humbly refer your Lordship to the case of
Chinemelu v. C.O.P (1995) 4 NWLR (Pt. 390) 467, where Achike,
J.C.A (as he then was) held thus:
… the appellant says that even though there is an
insinuation or allegation of murder of certain persons,
neither has any formal charge of murder as required by
law preferred against the appellant nor have the proofs
of evidence been prepared as prescribed by law…In
such circumstances, the further detention of the
appellant would appear unreasonable and
unjustified…to now allow the respondent to continue the
detention of the appellant as it were, in perpetuity, in
these circumstances would unreasonably deprive a
citizen of his liberty and unwillingly sow the seed of
improper use, or abuse, of power by the police or the
executive to the chagrin of a citizen whose innocence in
relation to certain sordid acts of murder is yet to be
disproved. Such posture, the courts must of
necessity, roundly condemn. May I say at this stage that
the appellants at the risk of repeating myself are
accused of being cultists and related cult offences
which are of course by the provisions of the Kwara
State law referred elsewhere in this Judgement not
capital offences but as we have seen a short while ago in

Page 31 of 39
the case of Anaekwe v. C.O.P (1996) 3 NWLR (Pt.
436) 320, the appellant was released on bail for the
failure on the part of the respondent to proffer
any formal charge of murder as required by law. In the
case of Ogbemhe v. C.O.P. (2001) 5 NWLR (Pt. 706) 215
the appellant was admitted to bail not withstanding the
prevalence of the offence of robbery in the society
because the interest of justice would better be
served by granting bail to the accused.

4.26. My lord, it is not the intendment of the framers of the Constitution
that an accused person be remanded in prison custody in
perpetuity. The court has a duty to discover the intention of the
lawmakers. We, therefore, respectfully urge your Lordship to
hold that the continued remand of the inmates without trial is
unreasonable and a flagrant violation of their fundamental human
right.
4.27. My lord, it is trite law that once an infraction of the fundamental
rights of a citizen is established, award of damages follows
automatically. Section 35 (6) of the 1999 Constitution provides that:
Any person who is unlawfully arrested or detained shall
be entitled to compensation and public apology from the
appropriate authority or person; and in this subsection,
“the appropriate authority or person” means an
authority or person specified by law.

4.28. It has been enjoined that in cases involving an infraction of
fundamental rights of a citizen, the court ought to award such
damages as would serve as a deterrent against naked, arrogant,
arbitrary and oppressive abuse of power. See Federal Ministry of
Internal Affairs v. Shugaba Darman (1982) 3 NCLR 915 and
Odogu v. Attorney-General of the Federation (1996) 6 NWLR
(Pt. 456) 508 at 519. The Court is therefore urged to toll the line of
earlier decisions and mitigate the sufferings went through by the
inmates who have been detained contrary to the provisions of the
Constitution.

ISSUE THREE: Whether the overcrowding of the Ikoyi Medium
Security Custodial Centre, which was originally built in
1955 to hold 800 inmates, but now holds 3113 inmates

Page 32 of 39
as at December 3, 2019, is not indicative of dereliction
of duties imposed on the Respondents, in one capacity
or the other, and under one relevant legislation or the
other

The Federal Government and its relevant agencies have a duty to keep
the Ikoyi Custodial Centre in a dignified, safe and secure shape and to
provide necessary vocational, recreational and health facilities.

4.29. My Lord, it is our humble submission that the Federal Government
and its relevant agencies have a duty to keep the Ikoyi Custodial
Centre in a dignified, safe and secure shape and to provide
necessary vocational, recreational and health facilities. Accordingly,
the overcrowding of the Centre is an indication of neglect of the part
of the Federal Government and its agencies to observe this duty.
4.30. The Federal Government, here the 1 st Respondent, has a duty to
make necessary budgetary allocation to the Ministry of the Interior,
which is headed by the 3 rd Respondent. In turn, the 3 rd Respondent
is required to ensure the effective use of the allocation. He is
required to source for grants in order to ensure that the Custodial
Centres are properly run. The 4 th Respondent is statutorily
mandated to keep the Custodial Centres, including Ikoyi Custodial
Centre, in proper shape. See Sections 4(2)(a), 10(b) (c) and (f) of
the Nigerian Correctional Service Act, 2019.
4.31. My Lord, the Supreme Court had earlier confirmed that inhumane
and degrading treatment in prison custody may ground a distinct
cause of action under s.34 of the Constitution. See Kalu v. State
(1998) 13 NWLR (pt.583) at p.531. Where the court held that:
“If after death sentence has been passed and the
accused is in prison custody if anything outside the
norml custody that amounts to “torture of inhuman
degrading treatment’ that will be cause of action under
fundamental rights…”
The above case touches on persons on death row, it is in even
worse in this case where most of the inmates who are awaiting trial
and are presumed innocent until pronounced guilty by a competent
Court .
4.32. In this instance, not only are the rights guaranteed by the
Constitution, the 1 st – 4 th Respondents have statutory duties under
Sections 4(2)(a), 10(b),(c) and (f) of the Nigerian Correctional

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Service Act, 2019 to effect and guarantee those rights and the
breach of which is actionable as confirmed by the Supreme Court in
Kalu v State (supra).
4.33. There can be no better evidence of dereliction of statutory duties
than the pitiable condition the Ikoyi Custodial Centre is at the
moment. There is pending implosion in population with the Centre
currently accommodating 3,113 inmates with a capacity and facility
to accommodate 800 inmates.
4.34. This Honourable Court is therefore urged to hold that the
overcrowding in the Ikoyi Custodial Center is indicative of neglect of
statutorily imposed duties on part of the Federal Government and
its agencies, namely the 3 rd and 4 th Respondents.

The 4 th Respondent has a duty to make necessary returns every
ninety days application to the 2 nd and 7 th Respondents on the number
of persons awaiting trial held in custody at the Ikoyi Medium Security
Custodial Centre, and the 2 nd and 7 th Respondents have a duty to act
on the returns in ensuring that the Ikoyi Medium Security Custodial
Centre is de-congested;
4.35. We humbly submit that the 4 th Respondent has a duty to make
necessary returns every ninety days to the 2 nd and 7 th Respondents
on the number of persons awaiting trial held in custody at the Ikoyi
Medium Security Custodial Centre, and the 2 nd and 7 th Respondents
have a duty to act on the returns in ensuring that the Ikoyi Medium
Security Custodial Centre is de-congested. Accordingly, the
overcrowding of the Center is an indication of neglect of the part of
the 4 th , 2 nd and 7 th Respondents to observe their respective duties.
4.36. My Lord, by virtue of Section 111(1) of the Administration of
Criminal Justice Act, 2015, the 4 th Respondent “shall make returns
every 90 days” to the 2 nd and 7 th Respondents “of all persons
awaiting trial held in custody in the Ikoyi Custodial Center for a
period beyond 180 days from the date of arraignment”.
4.37. Consequently, upon receipt of such returns, the recipients, which in
this case are the 2 nd and 7 th Respondents, shall ”take such steps as
are necessary to address the issues raised in the return”. See
Section 111(3) of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, 2015.

Page 34 of 39
4.38. There can be no better indication of the neglect of the duties
imposed on the 4 th , 2 nd and 7 th Respondents than the mere fact that
the Ikoyi Custodial Centre is extremely overcrowded. We urge this
Honourable Court to so hold.
The 5th Respondent has a duty to notify, within one week, the 6th and
7th Respondents where the Ikoyi Medium Security Custodial Centre
has exceeded its capacity; 6th and 7th Respondents have a duty to
act within three months from the notification to rectify the situation
4.39. We humbly submit that the 5 th Respondent has a duty to notify,
within one week, the 6th and 7th Respondents where the Ikoyi
Medium Security Custodial Centre has exceeded its capacity; the
6th and 7th Respondents, in turn, have a duty to act within three
months from the notification rectify the situation. Accordingly, the
overcrowding of the Centre is an indication of neglect of the part of
the 5 th , 6 th and 7 th Respondents to observe their respective duties.
4.40. My Lord, by virtue of Section 12(4) of the Nigerian Correctional
Service Act, 2019, the 5 th Respondent “shall within a period not
exceeding one week, notify” the 6 th and 7 th Respondents of this
development.
4.41. Consequently, upon such notification, the 6 th and 7 th Respondents,
”shall within a period not exceeding three months take necessary
steps to rectify the overcrowding:”. See Section 12(7) of the
Nigerian Correctional Service Act, 2019.
4.42. The Act in Section 12(8) further vested the 5 th Respondent with the
power, without prejudice to the 6 th and 7 th Respondents’ under
Section 12(7), to “reject more intakes of inmates where it is
apparent that the Correctional Centre in question is filled to the
capacity”.
4.43. In what way can one explain a situation where the Ikoyi Custodial
Center, whose originally capacity is 800, but not holds 3, 1113
inmates, is still receiving more inmates? This clearly shows that the
5 th , 6 th and 7 th Respondents have failed in their respective duties on
this head. We urge this Honourable Court to so hold.

5. CONCLUSION:

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In the light of the argument, cases and provisions of laws cited
above, we urge this Honourable Court to grant this application and
all the reliefs sought in this application as set out in paragraph 1.2 of
this Address.
May it please the Court.
6. LIST OF AUTHORITIES
STATUTES
1. Administration of Criminal Justice Act, 2015
2. African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights (Ratification and
Enforcement) Act CAP A9 LFN 2004
3. Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended)
CAP C23, LFN 2004
4. Convention Against Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman and
Degrading Treatment or Punishment
5. Fundamental Rights (Enforcement Procedure) Rules, 2009
6. International Convention on Civil and Political Rights
7. Nigerian Correctional Service Act, 2019
8. United Nations Standard Minimum Rules for Treatment of Prisoners
(Revised in 2015) A/RES/70/175
REPORTS AND NEWSPAPER ARTICLES
1. Amnesty International Report titled ‘Nigeria: Prisoners’ Rights
Systematically Flouted” published in 2008
2. Punch Newspaper’s article of 3 rd December 2019 titled “Five
Awaiting Trial Inmates Electrocuted in Ikoyi Prison”.
JUDICIAL PRECEDENTS
1. Eze v. I.G.P (2017) 4 NWLR (Pt. 1554) 44.
2. Olawoye v. C.O.P (2006) 2 NWLR (pt.965)445-446
3. Chinemelu v. C.O.P (1995) 4 NWLR (Pt. 390) 467
4. Federal Ministry of Internal Affairs v. Shugaba Darman (1982) 3
NCLR 915
5. Odogu v. Attorney-General of the Federation (1996) 6 NWLR (Pt.
456) 508 at 519.
6. Kalu v. State (1998) 13 NWLR (pt.583) at p.531.
7. A.G Kebbi State V. Jokolo (2013) LPELR-22349(CA)

Page 36 of 39

Dated this…………..day of…………………….2019
_____________________________
AHMED ADETOLA-KAZEEM(SIGNED)
NURUDEEN TEMILOLA YUSUF
LUKMAN JAIYEOLA
SILAS ABISOGUN
Applicant’s Counsel
Prisoners’ Rights Advocacy Initiative
33A Mabinuori Dawodu Street
Gbagada Phase
Gbagada, Lagos.
08077470336;
aadetolakazeem@prai.org.ng
aadetolakazeem@nigerianbar.ng
aadetolakazeem@gmail.com

FOR SERVICE ON
1. 1st and 2nd Respondents
Attorney General’s Office
Federal Ministry of Justice
Plot 71B Shehu Shagari Way,
Maitama Abuja
3. The 3rd Respondent
Ministry of Interior
Old Secretariat, Area I,
Garki, Abuja, FCT
Old Secretariat Area l Garki Abuja FCT Abuja
4. The 4th Respondent
Nigerian Correctional Service Headquarters
Bill Clinton Drive,
Airport Road
Abuja
5. The 5th Respondent
Nigerian Correctional Service, Lagos State Command
Alagbon Close,
Ikoyi, Lagos

Page 37 of 39

6. The 6th Respondent
Attorney General’s Chambers
Lagos State Ministry of Justice
Alausa, Lagos
7. The 7th Respondent
Office of the Chief Judge of Lagos State
High Court of Justice
Ikeja
Lagos

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