The Nigerian Governors Forum has received a letter from Interior Minister Rauf Aregbesola requesting a meeting to discuss decongesting the nation’s jails.
Sola Fasure, the minister’s media advisor, said this on Tuesday, in Abuja.
Aregbesola promised to meet with state governors in order to reach an agreement on the nationwide release of at least 30% of prisoners.
The minister also noted that more than 70% of the 75,635 prisoners currently incarcerated were doing so while awaiting trial and claimed that the interface was required because more than 90% of the detainees were being imprisoned for violating various state laws.
He said that the percentage of federal offenders in the system was much lower than 10% and that most of the people in detention had broken state laws.
Aregbesola 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.
However, speaking on the action taken by the minister, Fasure said, “The minister has written to the Governors Forum, but he has not met with them because they will have to communicate with him and give him a date.
“He wrote to them with the request that he wants to meet with them, but he is yet to get a response. In other words, the meeting has not been held.”
The Federal Government further reported on Tuesday that more than 12,000 prisoners had been freed from different correctional facilities across the nation over the previous six years in accordance with the strategy of prison decongestion.
This was addressed to the Senate Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights, and Legal Matters members during the committee’s 2023 budget defense session by Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami.
Malami said the Federal Government was able to decongest prisons across the nation by policy efforts aside from the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, aimed for expedited dispensation of Justice, in response to a question from Senator Ajibola Basiru (APC Osun Central).
“When this government came on board in 2015, the problem of prison congestion was at the front burner of national discourse , which made President Muhammadu Buhari to set machineries in motion in different ways for required solution.
“One of such machineries set in motion was a presidential committee set up for prison decongestion which liaised with other stakeholders in the justice sector for way out .
“Aside from the committee, Mr President himself also wrote letters to the 36 states governors and Chief Judges of the states for required visitations to prisons and exercise of prerogative of mercies from time to time,” Malami explained.
Join the conversation
Support Ripples Nigeria, hold up solutions journalism
Balanced, fearless journalism driven by data comes at huge financial costs.
As a media platform, we hold leadership accountable and will not trade the right to press freedom and free speech for a piece of cake.
If you like what we do, and are ready to uphold solutions journalism, kindly donate to the Ripples Nigeria cause.
Your support would help to ensure that citizens and institutions continue to have free access to credible and reliable information for societal development.
SPECIAL REPORT: Shell’s inaccurate data raises questions around efforts to control methane emissions in Nigeria
Much worse for the environment than carbon dioxide, despite global efforts to control methane, emissions continue soaring. With over a...
FEATURE…Missing Rig Workers: Tragedy, Injustice and the Depthwize cabal
The serene landscape of Ovhor in Delta State bore witness to a disaster that shook the nation’s conscience. The capsize...
FEATURE… In the shadow of kidnappers: The story of Nigeria’s albatross
For decades, Nigeria has been grappling with a problem that has threatened the safety and stability of its people: kidnapping....
FEATURE: The falling standard of education in Nigeria today: Whose Fault?
Over the years, education has proven to be the fulcrum facilitating national development in any state. Through education, knowledge is...
INVESTIGATION: Failed multi-million naira constituency water projects litter Sokoto communities
Many rural communities in Sokoto State are at the risk of an outbreak of diarrhea and other diseases due to...