With Less Than N10,000 Fine, Millions Of Naira Is Spent By Nigerian Government To Keep Inmate “Rauf Aregbesola” – NMI

vincity May 14, 2023
Updated 2023/05/14 at 4:24 PM

The Federal Government is spending a lot on keeping inmates in the facilities, NAN reports.

Aregbesola, Nigeria’s Minister of Interior made the call on Saturday while inaugurating the 20-Bed Space COVID-19 Crisis Intervention Fund Hospital at the Nigerian Correctional Service’s Maximum Security Custodial Centre in Port Harcourt, Rivers state.  


The minister called out for collaboration between states and the federal government to decongest correctional centres in the country.

The minister lamented that the custodial centres and personnel are overstretched and the Federal Government is spending a lot on keeping inmates in the facilities,  Aregbesola, therefore, sought the assistance of state governments in building courts in those centres and introducing virtual trials to decongest the prison facilities. 

According to him, the federal government spends millions of Naira annually in keeping inmates whose fines are less than N10,000.   

Aregbesola also disclosed that the federal government is constructing a 3,000-capacity Custodial village in the six geo-political zones of the country as part of deliberate measures to decongest the custodial centres in Nigeria.

“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. Part of the reasons why there are delays in prosecution process and trial is difficulty in transporting inmates to the courts.

“In addition, virtual trial can be done with improved technology within the court’s facility,” he said.

The minister stressed the need for states to waive minor fines, adding that about 5,000 people were languishing in correctional facilities for fines below one N1 million.

Aregbesola said he had written to all the state governors on the matter.

“Last year we requested for details of persons with fines or such financial order of less than N1,000,000 that are still in our facilities and we got about N5,000.

“By January this year, I wrote specifically to all governors to sensitize them on the need to wave 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,” he said.

The minister said that the amount of money used to keep 22 inmates was more than what the inmates owed Rivers State.

Speaking about the hospital, Aregbesola said it will increase the capacity of the correctional service in actualising its statutory mandate of keeping inmates in safe and healthy custody. 

Every month, the federal government spends N83.333 per inmate for sundry needs, including feeding. 

Sola Fasure, the media adviser to the Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola, whose office oversees the correctional facilities, made this known in a statement on Saturday in Abuja.

The minister said that the hospital, alongside six others in the country, built from the COVID-19 Crisis Special Intervention Fund of the Federal Government, would address the medical concerns of inmates and personnel.


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