The Nigerian Prison Service (NPS) has said 66 per cent of inmates in prisons are awaiting trial.
Jaafaru Ahmed, controller general of the service, said this at the quarterly meeting of the Penal Reform Media Network (PERMNET) in Lagos.
Represented by Francis Enobore, NPS spokesperson, he said a total of 72,384 inmates are currently in prison across the country.
“As of today, December 15, 2017, the current population of prisoners in Nigeria is put at 72,384 while 48,527 of the figure are the awaiting trial inmates,” he said.
“The awaiting trial inmates therefore constitute about 66 percent of the prison population.”
He also commended the intervention of various stakeholders in the decongestion of the prisons across the country, adding that “there is a need for more collaboration among the three arms of the criminal justice system.
“This is to enhance synergy so that anybody brought to prison as awaiting trial, the case will be determined as quickly as possible. The other arms have to do their part so that there would be quick dispensation of justice.”
As at March 26, 70 per cent of inmates in Nigerian prisons were awaiting trial.
A fact sheet released by Prisoners’ Rehabilitation and Welfare Actions (PRAWA) had shown that the total number of inmates across the country was 68,110 – 66,774 males and 1,336 females.
It also showed that while 21,354 have been convicted as at that time, the remaining 46,756 were awaiting trial.