THE Federal Government says 7,813 inmates have so far been released from the Nigerian Correctional Service Centres across the country since the outbreak of COVID-19 in a bid to curb the spread of coronavirus in the Centers.
said this on Tuesday in Abuja, to celebrate the achievement of the Presidential Committee on Correctional Service Reform and Decongestion, since inception in October 2017.
To celebrate the achievement of the Presidential Committee on Correctional Service Reform and Decongestion, since inception in October 2017, Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, said the Committee has visited about 39 prisons in 18 states and released 7,813 inmates.
He said: “It is pertinent to note the inadequacy of Nigeria’s correctional facilities, which are currently operating at more than 150 per cent of their capacity.
With COVID-19 presenting challenges in light of the poor state of the correctional centers, he said to decongest the centres nationwide others agencies were galvanised to develop measures to overcome the challenges.
According to him, the agencies are “the Ministry of Interior in collaboration with Presidential Committee on Correctional Service and Decongestion, the Presidential Advisory Committee on Prerogative of Mercy and State Executives and other relevant stakeholders.
“The initiatives we adopted have so far led to the release of the inmates while simultaneously reducing the instances of unnecessary test and we intend to sustain this momentum.”
The Chairman of the committee and Chief Judge of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, Justice Ishaq Bello said after a review of cases of inmates eligible for Prerogative of Mercy and condemned convicts on death row for over 10 years, the committee, wrote letters of appeal to several state governors to act on some special cases encountered during the visits.
He added that letters were also written to some states as well as to exercise their powers of clemency in deserving cases or commute to life sentence those condemned to death.