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Government tries to ease prison congestion

20 May 2013, 11:07

Abuja - Nigeria is decongesting its prisons amid the increasing number of inmates awaiting trial (ATPs).

In an attempt to rectify this problem, the Government has inaugurated a 12-man Presidential Inter-ministerial Committee on Prison Decongestion.

Inaugurating the committee during the weekend, the Minister of Interior, Abba Moro stated that one of the major challenges facing prisons was congestion among pre-trial detainees.

He also expressed disappointment that despite all the measures taken by the federal government to ensure that the criminal justice system was consistent with the provisions of the constitution, including special intervention programmes of the Federal Ministry of Justice and regular prison visits by the Legal Aid Council, congestion was still a major concern.

"As of January this year, 41 524 prisoners are housed in Nigerian prisons with 29 372 awaiting trial - translating to about 71 per cent of the inmates population.

"This is unacceptable," said Moro.

- CAJ News


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