Worst Prisons in Nigeria: The state of Nigeria’s deteriorating prisons is shocking. It is likely that you are a free man, woman, child, or youth if you are reading this article. Not only are you likely reading this from the comfort of your office, living room, or bedroom, but you also probably have no idea what a prison looks like.
It’s true that you are fortunate to be free. I say fortunate because not all of the inmates were found guilty of the crimes they were charged with; rather, they were found guilty. Prison in Nigeria is the very last place you would ever want to be confined. Let me briefly educate you on Nigerian prison systems.
Nigerian prisons are often worse than cemeteries! Consider for a moment whether a government can afford to maintain schools, construct roads, equip hospitals, or pay salaries. How do you imagine the State’s prison to be designed? To truly comprehend what we mean, you must visit prisons in Nigeria as a visitor. While most prisons in Nigeria are not very good, there are some that are.
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Top 10 Worst And Most Dangerous Prisons In Nigeria 2024
These are Nigeria’s top ten worst prisons:
10. Suleja Prison, Niger State: Congestion is the main issue facing most prisons in Nigeria. The capacity of many of these prisons has been exceeded three times. The Niger State prison of Suleja is a perfect example of this. The state of affairs is so bad that some warders are forced to wear face masks while performing their duties due to the prison’s stench.
Many of the inmates at Suleja prison, according to some critics, are people who were arrested and imprisoned for crimes that shouldn’t have been punished. One such instance involved a nursing mother and her 8-month-old child who were both detained in the prison. Of course, many have been detained without charge or trial for years.
9. Abakaliki Prison, Ebonyi State: To put it mildly, the conditions inside the Abakiliki prison are appalling. Nigerian prisons are notable for their ability to maintain a peaceful and orderly exterior, but when you see the conditions of the inmates, you will probably cry.
The prison in Nigeria’s Ebonyi State has gotten so bad that it is now regarded as one of the worst in the country. There were numerous inmates and warders injured in an alleged jail break attempt at the Abakiliki prison in August of this year, according to reports.
However, it was found that the inmates were revolting against their subpar living conditions rather than staging a jailbreak.
8. Maiduguri Maximum Prison, Borno State: You would probably be aware of what to anticipate from a prison situated in a state that has become a haven for terrorists. The conditions at Maiduguri Maximum Prison are so terrible that prisoners go insane from sheer agony.
At the maximum prison in Maiduguri, the traffic is atrocious on its own. We cannot even begin to describe the terrible conditions of feeding and hygiene.
Although the prison can house 1600 inmates, there are currently about three times as many inmates as there are spaces available. Crazy prisoners scream loudly into the night, keeping other prisoners awake. The situation worsened to the point where some terrorists who had previously been detained were granted amnesty and released in an attempt to relieve prison overcrowding, but the situation is still dire. In a nutshell, the Maiduguri Maximum Prison is like hell on earth.
7. Enugu Maximum Security Prison, Enugu State: When we visited a relative who was being remanded at the Enugu prison pending trial, we were reduced to tears because some prisons cause men to cry—make that wail. To put it mildly, the prison was extremely crowded. We thought of the location more as an old-fashioned torture chamber than as a jail.
After doing some quick research on the prison, we learned that it was constructed in 1915 and was initially intended to house just over 600 inmates. Though it had undergone only a few renovations since then, the prison had nearly collapsed.
There are currently more than 2000 prisoners jammed into a jail with 600 beds. Consider the state of the prisoners in that circumstance. Although it needs immediate renovations, the maximum security prison in Enugu is currently among the worst in Nigeria.
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6. Kurmawa Prison, Kano: Kano’s Kurmawa prison is as old as it gets. The British-led colonial government constructed the prison in the nineteenth century (we thought Enugu maximum security prison was old). Compared to other prisons on our list, this one is smaller, but like the others, it is extremely crowded.
Although the prison is only designed to house about 40 prisoners, more than 100 are currently jammed into the small cells.
Prisoners endure a variety of cruel treatment. Most likely, you wouldn’t feed your dog the same food that prisoners in this facility are given.
5. Jigawa Prison, Jigawa State: To be honest, being imprisoned in any Nigerian prison—especially the Jigawa prison—is the worst thing that can happen to a Nigerian. There is an extreme overcrowding in this prison. It has been reported that certain friends and family members cry and groan when they visit and witness the appalling state in which their loved ones are kept in this prison.
The practice of warders extorting prisoners in exchange for menial favours is not new. Sometimes the congestion in this prison causes inmates to suffocate and die. It was announced earlier this year that “Damina Jauro Audu,” a prisoner at Jigawa, had perished from simple suffocation as a result of prison overcrowding. Unquestionably one of the worst prisons in Nigeria is Jigawa.
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4. Goron Dutse Prison, Kano State: The Goron Dutse prison is the worst of the roughly fifteen prisons in Kano State. The Goron Dutse prison is characterised by a number of issues, including overcrowding, inadequate facilities, subpar food, and subpar living conditions.
Given how awful Kano State’s prison has become, it seems the government has completely forgotten that it even exists. According to reports, there are more than 2000 prisoners housed in this prison, even though it is only designed to house about 800. In Nigeria, the Goron Dutse prison is currently nothing more than a hellhole.
3. Kaduna Prison, Kaduna State: Now, this is just another appalling prison in Nigeria. The Kaduna Convict Prison is one location that, because of how awful it has become, has the power to drastically change even the most hardened of criminals into saints. The prison, which was constructed in the early 1900s, was designed to house 500 inmates, but you can infer how many it actually holds now based on the trend of Nigerian prisons.
President Buhari was informed about the appalling conditions in the Kaduna prison, and he immediately ordered the governors of every state to investigate the state of the prisons in their states. The Kaduna jail is just as horrible as every jail on the list above, if not worse.
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2. Port Harcourt Prison, Rivers State: Regarding the Port Harcourt prison, what more need be said than has already been said? If it were up to us, the place would have been closed long ago.
The prison at Port Harcourt is well known for having the highest number of prisoners awaiting trial. The Port Harcourt prison was constructed in 1918 with 800 inmates, but it currently houses over 3000 people. There are no words to adequately express the experiences that prisoners have there.
1. Kirikiri Maximum Prison, Lagos State: Arguably the worst of the lot is the Kirikiri prison in Lagos, the worst of the worst. Huge, run-down, crowded, and terrifying are insufficient descriptions of the Kirikiri prison’s condition.
The problem here is that in order to make ends meet, warders have turned to a variety of shady businesses and other illicit activities, like bribery.
Before friends and family can enter to visit their loved ones who are in prison, there is supposedly a gate fee. The practice of “palm-greasing” has gained popularity; prisoners must pay bribes in order to exercise basic rights like visiting a doctor and other privileges.
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If you share our horror, you would definitely flee from crime as far as your legs would allow. It is depressing to see the conditions in many Nigerian prisons. While many contend that they are criminals in the end, they are also people. We implore the authorities to investigate these jails with an emphasis on human dignity rather than criminal activity.
Edeh Samuel Chukwuemeka, ACMC, is a lawyer and a certified mediator/conciliator in Nigeria. He is also a developer with knowledge in various programming languages. Samuel is determined to leverage his skills in technology, SEO, and legal practice to revolutionize the legal profession worldwide by creating web and mobile applications that simplify legal research. Sam is also passionate about educating and providing valuable information to people.