Prison decongestion: FG tells governors to waive minor fines owed by inmates.
….Rauf Aregbesola, minister of interior, has asked governors to grant waivers to inmates with fines of less than N1 million.
Aregbesola spoke during the commissioning of a 20-bed space medical facility at Port Harcourt maximum security custodial centre.
The minister said 5,000 people are in correctional facilities nationwide over fines of less than N1 million.
He said the federal government is spending millions of naira annually in keeping inmates whose fines are less than N10,000.
The minister said N1 million is spent annually to cater for each inmate at the correctional facilities.
“Last year, we requested for details of persons with fines or such financial orders of less than N1,000,000 that are still in our facilities and we got about five million,” NAN quoted him as saying.
“In January, I wrote specifically to all governors to sensitise them on the need to waive these fines so as to take those Nigerians away from the custodial centres.
“In Rivers state, we have 22 inmates owing the state about N3,800,049; that will not be too much for Rivers state to pay or waive to free them.”
The minister said one of the ways to reduce decongestion in the prison is for state governments to build courts inside the facilities.
“We need to decongest rapidly and part of what should be done is for the state governments to work with us using their domain to build courts inside the facilities so that they can try inmates there,” he added.
“Part of the reasons why there are delays in the prosecution process and trial is difficulty in transporting inmates to the courts.
Read Also:10th NASS leadership: Tinubu breaks silence on looming crisis in APC
“In addition, virtual trial can be done with improved technology within the court’s facility.”