Rauf Aregbesola, the interior minister, has stated that he will meet with state governors to discuss a mass release of at least 30% of prisoners from detention facilities around the nation.
When Aregbesola appeared on the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) Forum in Abuja, he announced this.
The interface, according to the minister, was required since state laws were broken by more than 90% of the prisoners.
Aregbesola added that more than 70% of the current 75,635 detainees were awaiting trial.
The minister claimed that the percentage of federal criminals in the system was much lower than 10% and that most of the persons in detention had broken state laws.
He claimed that as a result, they were still subject to the legal authority of their respective states.
The minister continued by saying that some of the prisoners had no need to remain in jail, making it imperative to decongest the nation’s 253 detention facilities.
Therefore, according to Aregbesola, all parties involved must work toward a “better-structured criminal justice administration, otherwise we would just be left with clogged and overcrowded institutions.”
“I have written to the Nigerian Governors Forum to request permission to come and speak to them about how they can support the process of decongestion,” he said.
“Because in order for us to perform a significant decongestion, particularly of Awaiting Trial Inmates, the governors must accept this system.
“We can remove 30% of people who are there if we can secure the support of state judicial officials and state governments.”
He claims that some of the prisoners who are awaiting trial have been there longer than the maximum sentence allowed by the law for the offense they were detained for.
“If a man is arrested for minor theft and is being tried for three years, how long will he be imprisoned even if he is found guilty?
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“How long will that guy stay? Probably six months, but he’ll be there for three years without a trial.
“Once more, you arrested a youngster under the bridge, there is no specific crime, he will remain there indefinitely, and so on.
“As a result, state governments must support us and buy in.
“This is so they can evaluate the situation seriously and set up committees to profile everyone who is present.
And assist in either convicting, freeing, or determining if they have exceeded their permitted sentence, the minister added.
Rauf Aregbesola promised that the interior ministry was taking all necessary steps to clear the correctional facilities of congestion.
He claimed that the meeting with the governors will aid in a critical evaluation of the issue and remove inmates who ought to have been released from the system.