The Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola, has stated that the growing number of inmates awaiting trial is putting a strain on custodial facilities and available resources.
He spoke at the Nigerian Correctional Service’s retreat for senior officers in Sokoto, on Tuesday.
Aregbesola, who attributed prison congestion to slow justice delivery, proposed that the time between suspects’ arrest and the conclusion of their cases in court should not exceed a year.
The minister said, “To reduce the number of inmates awaiting trial, we must ensure that from arrest to conviction must not go beyond a year.
“If this is done, we will reduce the large percentage of inmates in our correctional centres. We will also be able to reduce the humongous cost of feeding them.
“If we can reduce the number of awaiting trail inmates by cutting short the period of trial to maximum of 12 months, the amount we are going to save from feeding them will be enough to revamp the service and our centres.”
Aregbesola also bemoaned what he described as unbefitting status of some of the correctional facilities across the country, urging personnel to mobilise community efforts to change the facial appearance of the facilities.