A Congested Nigerian Prison used to illustrate the story[photo credit:The Guardian Nigeria]
There are 6,800 inmates awaiting trial in the five correctional facilities in Lagos State.
The Lagos Comptroller of Corrections, Adewale Adebisi, disclosed on Thursday while speaking at the Kirikiri Maximum Correctional Centre, Lagos, during a plea bargain session.
The session was spearheaded by the Lagos State Ministry of Justice as part of efforts to decongest correctional facilities in the state.
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The five correctional facilities in Lagos are Ikoyi, Kirikiri (Female), Kirikiri (Medium), Kirikiri (Maximum) and Badagry correctional centres.
“In Lagos, we have a total of 8,000 incarcerated inmates in the correctional facilities, out of which a total of 6,800 inmates are awaiting trial.
“Some of these awaiting trial inmates have been standing trial in the courts for long.
“We have some who have been on trial for 10 to 12 years,” he said.
Mr Adebisi attributed much congestion of correctional facilities in Lagos to the high level of migration into the metropolis which contributed to a high crime rate.
The comptroller commended the ingenuity of the Lagos State Attorney-General (AG), Moyosore Onigbanjo (SAN), for starting the first-ever plea bargain session held at the correctional facilities.
“I thank the AG for taking this bold step. The plea bargain sessions will help to awaken the self-consciousness of inmates and make them admit to crimes they committed and repent.
“It will also help us decongest the custodial centres and help us reduce the crime rate in the state,” Mr Adebisi said.
A total of 27 inmates made up of 16 males and 11 females benefitted from Thursday’s plea bargaining session.
The Kirikiri Maximum Correctional Centre, which has a capacity for 1,076 inmates, currently houses 1,830 inmates.
Of the 1,830 inmates, 283 have been convicted, 1,075 are awaiting trial, 88 are serving life terms, 372 are on death row and 12 inmates are lodgers (inmates in transit).