Over 4000 prisoners are reportedly being held in custodial facilities across the nation because they are unable to pay fines imposed on them by judges and magistrates, according to Interior Minister Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo.
In doing so, he bemoaned the fact that more than 70% of all inmates housed in the country’s detention facilities are currently awaiting trial.
If non-custodial alternatives as outlined in the Correctional Service Act are investigated, he noted, the percentage of inmates in correctional facilities would drop to 40%.
Alao Babatunde, the minister’s media adviser, claimed in a statement on Saturday that the minister spoke with Samuela Isopi, the embassy’s ambassador to Nigeria, during a visit to Isopi’s office in Abuja.
Over 70% of the 79,000 prisoners are awaiting trial, according to a portion of the text.
“More than 4,000 prisoners are housed in our facilities because they are unable to pay various fines. If we look into non-custodial options as permitted by the Correctional Service Act, we think we can cut the number of inmates in our prisons by about 40%. “.
The minister said that the EU could assist the nation in implementing technology to bolster and improve internal border management architecture.
The socioeconomic development of Nigeria depends on the European Union, he declared. The history of our relationship with the EU goes beyond just bilateral assistance, he said.
“Africa will benefit if we are able to resolve the country’s issues with migration and crime. Our problems are more of an EU problem than a problem for Africa because of the shared borders between the two regions. We will investigate every possibility because we are dedicated to finding a solution. “
The federal government’s plan to audit all correctional facilities was urged by the minister, who also urged the EU to support it.
Tunji-Ojo pointed out that the Ministry was working on important reforms, particularly in the areas of knowledge transfer and travel documentation procedures.
“We have started the process to remove the bottlenecks in our procedure for collecting and applying for international passports, he continued. We have come a long way today. Additionally, we are exploring methods to lessen identity theft. We want to ensure that the green passport regains its honor and integrity. “
The ambassador had earlier assured the minister of the support of the European Union and said that the EU would provide technical assistance in managing the illegal aspect of migration as well as reducing human trafficking and people smuggling.