The Nigerian Correctional Service (NCoS) disclosed that no fewer than 3,413 inmates are currently on death row in custodial centers across the country. National Public Relations Officer (PRO) Umar Abubakar revealed this during a media parley on Friday in Abuja.
Abubakar elaborated that as of December 18, 2023, a total of 77,849 inmates are in NCoS custody, comprising 76,081 males and 1,768 females. He provided a breakdown by inmate category:
- Convicted inmates: 18,935 males and 357 females
- Awaiting Trial Persons (ATP): 52,512 males and 1,324 females (constituting 69% of the total inmate population)
- Lifers: 1,293 males and 15 females
- Death Row: 3,341 males and 72 females
The NCoS spokesman acknowledged the high number of ATPs as a challenge, but assured that the service is actively working to address it and improve judicial guarantees for these individuals
“With the initiative and support of the Minister of Interior, Dr. Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo, we were able to trim down the numbers in our custody following the release of 4,086 inmates who had options of fine and/or compensation.
“This is in addition to other measures such as the construction of new custodial facilities in the six geopolitical zones of Nigeria, strengthening the non-custodial alternative, provision of adequate logistics for court duties, and other initiatives towards decongesting custodial facilities,” Umar said.
He said the Service enhanced the fortification of custodial facilities from external attacks and aggression in 2023, adding “We have not recorded any form of internal insurrection from within our facilities.”