Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, says a committee has been set up to look into decongesting Nigerian prisons in six months.
Speaking on Wednesday at a public hearing organised by the National Assembly joint committee on appropriation, the minister said the committee has started working with the office of the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) to achieve the target.
Aregbesola said state governors will be carried along in the process because about 90 percent of inmates awaiting trial were said to have violated state offences.
“In no distant future, we will reduce the issue of awaiting trial considerably; as we are also working with the governors on that,” the minister said.
“Close to 90 percent of the awaiting trial inmates are violators of state laws and so are essentially the responsibility of the various state governments.
“So, we need to carry them along in devising strategies to decongest the facilities. In six months, this will be put behind us.”
The minister also said there are 75,000 inmates in prisons across the country.
Aregbesola’s declaration is coming a few days after an investigation published by TheCable exposed the rot in the prisons system.
Fisayo Soyombo, an investigative journalist, spent eight days as an inmate of Ikoyi Prison tracking corruption in the prison establishment.
He documented “drug abuse, sodomy, bribery, pimping and cash and carry operations” at the facility.