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Prison decongestion: Over 12,000 inmates released in six years, says Malami

Prison decongestion: Over 12,000 inmates released in six years, says Malami
November 08
18:10 2022

Abubakar Malami, attorney-general of the federation (AGF), says within six years, over 12,000 inmates have been released as part of efforts to decongest prisons across the country.

Malami spoke on Tuesday when he appeared before the senate committee on judiciary to defend the 2023 budget of the ministry of justice.

The minister said the inmates were released following the setting up of a committee by President Muhammadu Buhari.

“When this government came on board in 2015, the problem of prison congestion was at the front burner of national discourse, which made President Muhammadu Buhari to set machinery in motion in different ways for the required solution,” the AGF said.


“One of such machineries set in motion was a presidential committee set up for prison decongestion which liaised with other stakeholders in the justice sector for a way out.

“Aside from the committee, Mr President himself also wrote letters to the 36 state governors and chief judges of the states for required visitations to prisons and exercise of the prerogative of mercy from time to time.

“In one of such visitations made by the governor of Kano state, Abdullahi Ganduje, about 500 inmates were granted pardon in one day, the totality of which had led to release of over 12,000 inmates across the country within the last six years.


“Special attention was given to awaiting trial persons who constitute the bulk of the inmates across the various correctional centres in the country, by taking magistrates and judges to the centres for on-the-spot dispensation of justice.”

The 2023 budget of the justice ministry and its agencies is N71.291 billion.

This story is published in partnership with Report for the World, a global service program that supports local public interest journalism.


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