The Comptroller General of Nigerian Correctional Services (NCoS), Mr. Haliru Nababa, has disclosed that 66,000 representing 73% of the total 70,000 prison inmates in Nigeria, are awaiting trials.
Nababa made the disclosure at a pre 27th Nigerian Economic Summit (#NES27), with the theme, “Prison Reforms and National Security,” organised by the Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG).
Nababa, who was represented by Mr. Nwakuche Sylvester, Deputy Comptroller General, said that the NCoS has played a crucial role in national security.
According to him, the Correctional Services has helped in crime prevention and control, maintenance of law and order and in the implementation of appropriate punishments to law-breakers.
While delivering the keynote address, he said the emergence of the Correctional Services Act, is one of the best things that have happened to the NCoS, adding that the enactment of the Act has significantly helped to reposition and rejuvenate the organisation in the areas of Implementing reforms and programmes, providing medical, psychological and counselling services for offenders, facilitating incentives to inmates and convicts, as well as providing support to facilitate quick disposal of cases.
The Comptroller General noted that the Act addresses the issue of over-crowding and mandates State Comptrollers to notify the Attorney General, Criminal Justice Committee, the Prerogative of Mercy and others to take necessary steps to decongest facilities.
“Without execution of a life sentence within 10 years, the new Act gives a Chief Judge the right to commute a death sentence to life imprisonment.