Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola has advised state governors across the country to sign the death warrant of inmates on death row at custodial facilities across the country.
Speaking in Osogbo, the capital of Osun, while inaugurating the newly constructed headquarters of the Nigerian Correctional Service (NCoS) in the state, the minister lamented that jail congestion is the major headache of the Service.
According to Aregbesola, the entire national custodial facilities with a maximum capacity for 57,278 inmates currently has a total population of 68,747 inmates, made up of 67,422 males and 1,325 females.
He also noted that while only 17,755 inmates which is a mere 26 per cent were the actual convicts, 50,992 other inmates, representing 74 per cent of the total population of inmates in the nation’s custodial centres were still awaiting trial inmates.
The minister’s words: “One main challenge of the correctional service, therefore, is congestion of the custodial facilities. The entire national custodial facilities have a maximum capacity of 57,278 inmates. But by the last count earlier in the week, there is a total population of 68,747 inmates, made up of 67,422 males and 1,325 females. We have therefore shot above the capacity by 18 per cent.
“But I must add that the congestion is an urban phenomenon limited to big cities like Lagos, Kano, Port Harcourt and others. There are facilities in non-urban areas that are underpopulated. It is in the urban areas that most of the crimes are committed and relevant courts are located, leading to the overstretching of the custodial facilities located in such cities.
“It should also be noted that 50,992 inmates, representing 74 per cent of the total population of inmates in our custodial centres are awaiting trial inmates while only 17,755 inmates which is a mere 26 per cent are actual convicts”.