Rauf Aregbesola, Minister of Interior, has written to the Nigerian Governors Forum to request a meeting in order to decongest jails around the country
This was made known to our correspondent by the Minister’s Media Adviser, Sola Fasure, on Tuesday.
In exactly one month, Aregbesola stated he would meet with state governors to agree on the mass release of at least 30 per cent of convicts from correctional facilities across the country.
The minister said that the interface was necessary as more than 90 per cent of the inmates were being held for contravening various state laws, noting that over 70 per cent of the 75,635 inmates at present were awaiting trial.
He said that the federal offenders in the system were far fewer than 10 per cent, adding that the bulk of people in custody were those who had run afoul of state laws.
Aregbesola 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.
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.”