- says this could be responsible for jailbreaks across Nigeria
Interior Minister, Rauf Aregbesola has said that at least 74% of inmates in Nigeria’s correctional service are suspects awaiting trial.
Out of 68,000 prisoners, only 17,000 are convicts, Mr Aregbesola said on Monday during an event to inaugurate a pilot for virtual courtrooms.
He said the “overwhelming number” of remand prisoners, as well as causing overcrowding in the facilities, were largely responsible for the recent increase in jailbreaks in the country.
In the last year, more than 5,000 inmates have escaped following attacks on several prisons. Most of them remain on the run.
Mr Aregbesola admitted that most of the prisoners are “denied justice” due to the country’s chronically slow judicial process.
He said many of them die before the conclusion of their trials – others stay in detention beyond the maximum jail term of the offence they’re accused of – even though they’ve not been convicted.
Mr Aregbesola said this situation pricks the conscience of the government and the country.
The Nigerian authorities say they’re trying to address the problem by building more correctional centres and speeding up trials.