chapter  6
17 Pages

On hangings and the dubious embodiment of statehood in Nigerian prisons


In 1999, two and a half years before I began fieldwork, Nigeria experienced a transition from military to civilian government, accompanied by a clamour of voices calling for penal reform. Newly elected President Olusegun Obasanjo, himself a former prisoner, was a significant voice in the throng. Given this background, the present chapter situates itself as a contribution to studies of perpetrative institutions undergoing transition, offering a view from the inside of certain aspects of Nigerian prison officer practice, both historical and contemporary.