The Prisoners Rehabilitation and Welfare Action (PRAWA) has appealed to the Federal Government to implement ruling of the african court on human and peoples’ rights concerning petty offences.
PRAWA Founder and Executive Director and Dr Uju Agomoh made the appeal while reacting to the ruling.
He expressed delight over the ruling which declared that vagrancy laws are inconsistent and inconsonant with the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights, Children’s Rights Charter and Women Rights Protocol.
He said the judgement is a major boost to the campaign to decriminalise and declassify petty offences in Africa.
He said “We therefore call on the government of Nigeria to take immediate action on this by repealing laws that are in breach of Articles 2,3,5 and 6 of the African Charter.”
“Sadly, Nigeria is one of the countries that still retain some aspects of colonial laws that criminalize poverty, in their lawbooks.”
“These disproportionate laws are targeted at the uneducated and disadvantaged poor people (hawkers, street beggars, sex workers etc.) whose means of livelihoods are criminalized without any alternatives.”.
“Our organization PRAWA keyed into the Decriminalization of Petty Offences Campaign in line with the Guiding Principles initiated by African Commission with the support of Open Society Initiative of West Africa (OSIWA)”, he said.