A mild drama played out at the Senate Chambers on Tuesday after the Senator representing Benue North East, Gabriel Suswam proposed 2-day prison stay for leaders.
Suswam’s proposal came during his contribution to a motion sponsored by Senator Uche Ekwunife (Anambra Central) titled, ‘The Need to upgrade, decongest and disinfect Correctional Centres Nationwide’.
The former Benue Governor said, “I want to support this motion based on my experience (in Kuje Correctional Centre) and when I left, I recommended that for people to be proper leaders in this country, at least each and every one of us must spend one or two days in prison.”
The Senate President, Ahmad Lawan interjected, “anyone who served as a governor, yes and deputy governor probably.” Lawan’s reaction threw the Senate into a bout of laughter.
Speaking further, Suswam said, “Like what the former Minister, Abba Moro said earlier, I went there, they took me there in the night. The following day in the morning, the entire prison knew I was there. I sat down there from morning to evening because there were a lot of young people there.
“There was a young man who has spent 10 years there for just a problem of N10,000. Various individuals were there on very minor offences that the police can afford to correct them and send them home.
“I made it a point of duty that when I left that place. For the next one month, I took close to 20 young people out of that place. It didn’t take anything, just pay the money, send them back to court. I selected three lawyers who I sent to Kuje prison.
“Most of the people that are there don’t need to be there and they unduly congest the place.”
Suswam was remanded in Kuje Correctional Centre for two days in June 2017 for alleged diversion of N9.7bn SURE-P fund.