A fact sheet released to newsmen by Prisoners’ Rehabilitation and Welfare Actions (PRAWA) has revealed that about 70% of the current prison population in Nigeria are awaiting trial.
The fact sheet revealed that there are 68, 110 inmates at different prisons across the country – 66, 774 males and 1,336 females. Those convicted are 21, 354 while the remaining 46, 756 were awaiting trial.
The founder of PRAWA Dr. Uju Agomoh said due to different factors such as high remand/awaiting trial population in the prisons, lack of speedy trial, overuse of imprisonment by the courts, abuse of arrest powers and bail conditions by the police and inadequate prison structures among other issues, it was an understatement to say that Nigerian prisons were overcrowded.
Agommoh said the current prison reform should look at all the variables capable of ensuring successful prisoners rehabilitation and reintegration after serving their imprisonment terms.
The fact sheet said the current attempt on prison decongestion is pioneered by PRAWA in partnership with the Nigerian Prison Service (NPS) and the UK foreign and Commonwealth Office.