Femi Gbajabiamila, leader of the House of Representatives, (Lagos-APC), on Wednesday, said a Bill proposing community service as an alternative to prison term for miscellaneous offenders in the country was underway.
Gbajabiamila said in Abuja that when presented and passed, the emerging law would check congestion prisons across the country.
He expressed concern over the state of prisons in the country, saying that no fewer than 100 inmates currently slept in one prison cell. He noted that this could breed more criminals in the society.
According to him, a congested prison has attendant consequences apart from the epidemic that may ensue.
“This is apart from the people who may be in there for a period of two months to six months because the alternative was to pay a fine of N20, 000 which they didn’t have.
“They are not criminals but petty offenders involved in misdemeanours like wondering or trading illegally on the streets or hawking,’’ the lawmaker said.
“If each state has about three or five prisons we are talking about over 100 prisons across the country and that will help to reduce congestion.
“It should be a state matter because these people are tried for state offences mostly,’’ Gbajabiamila said.