…seeks 12-month trial
The Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola, said there are too many prisoners awaiting trial in the country’s correctional facilities saying this situation is stretching correctional centres and the available resources for the service.
The minister blamed the slow judicial process for the congestion.
Aregbesola who spoke on day two of the Nigerian Correctional Service retreat for senior officers in Sokoto on Tuesday, therefore called for speedy trials of cases, saying that the period of trail from the arrest to conclusion of cases should not exceed a year.
He said: “Let there be a strong advocacy for rapid dispensation of justice. When I went to court to get my mandate that was stolen in Osun the process lasted 42 months. It was precisely six months to the expiration of the tenure that my mandate was returned.
“It was that experience that forced the judiciary to say every litigation on governorship election must not last more than a year and since then they have kept to it. To reduce the number of inmates awaiting trial we must ensure that the time 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 centers. We will also be able to reduce the humongous cost of feeding them and the lack of not having enough resources.
“If we can reduce the number of awaiting trial inmates by cutting short the period of trial to a maximum of 12 months the amount we are going to save from feeding them will be enough to revamp the service and our centers.”