The Minister of Interior, Lt.-Gen. Abdulrahman Dambazau (rtd), on Sunday said that more than 70 per cent of inmates in Nigerian prisons were awaiting trial.
Dambazau disclosed this when he visited Kano Central Prison alongside the state governor to mark this year’s Eid-el Fitr celebration.
The minister said the decision to visit the prison was to show to the inmates that the government was aware of their existence.
“The high number of awaiting trial inmates is worrisome because the prisons are meant for convicts, but you find out at the end of the day that more than 70 per cent of the people there are awaiting trial inmates,” he said.
He said that some of the inmates were supposed to stay for few years but ended up staying for up to 15 years while awaiting trial.
Dambazau, however, commended the state governor for giving a vast piece of land for the building of 3,000 capacity modern prison in the state.
Earlier, Gov. Abdullahi Ganduje said he had secured the release of 50 inmates and also approved the release additional 500 inmates in prisons across the state.
He said that the gesture was part of the activities to celebrate Eid-el-Fitr celebration in the state.
Ganduje said the beneficiaries were selected based on gravity of their offence and sign of reformation while in prison.
He advised them to desist from acts that would warrant bringing them back to prison.
He also said the state government would assist them with some money to enable them travel back to their communities.