The Minister of Interior, Mr. Rauf Aregbesola, says he will meet with state Governors to agree on the mass release of at least 30 percent of inmates from custodial centres across the country.
Aregbesola made this known on Sunday, 9 October 2022 when he appeared on the News Agency of Nigeria Forum in Abuja.
The Minister said that the interface was necessary as more than 90 percent of the inmates were being held for contravening various state laws.Aregbesola also said that over 70 percent of the 75,635 inmates at present were awaiting trial. The Minister said that the federal offenders in the system were far less than 10 percent, adding that the bulk of people in custody were those who had run foul of state laws.
He said that they were therefore being kept under the legal jurisdiction of their respective states.The Minister added that the decongestion of the 253 custodial centres nationwide was necessary as some of the inmates have no reason to remain in custody.
Aregbesola, therefore, said all stakeholders must work towards a “better-structured criminal justice administration, otherwise, we will just be left with congested and overcrowded facilities.”
Last year, Mr. Rauf Aregbesola suggested to the Nigerian state governors to sign the death warrants of “condemned criminals” that “are not mounting any challenge to their conviction” to decongest prisons. A suggestion that angered several civil society groups in Nigeria