The Federal Government of Nigeria has urged state governors to establish their own correctional services and build their custodial centres, as the law has empowered them to do so.
This was revealed by the Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola during a two-day conference on Decongestion and Corrections Administration in Abuja on Thursday, who noted that the congestion of custodial centres had taken a toll on the finances of the federal government. The Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Interior, Shuaib Belgore, disclosed that the government had earmarked N22.44bn to feed inmates in all the custodial centres across the country.
According to Aregbesola, states must take responsibility for the accommodation and care of their offenders to save costs. He emphasized that overcrowding in custodial centres has led to a huge revenue drain for the federal government, which cannot bear the burden any longer.
The Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Olukayode Ariwoola, also noted that the congestion of custodial centres was responsible for jailbreaks and called on judges to interpret the law correctly. He urged judicial officers and those involved in the administration of justice in the country to distance themselves from primordial sentiment and disposition and to visit custodial centres with a view to setting free inmates with minor offences and those that ought not to be there in the first place.
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