To free up space in the nation’s correctional facilities, the Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola on Friday called on state governors to sign the death warrants of convicts on death row who have exhausted all avenues of appeal.
According to the Minister, the country currently has 3,008 condemned criminals (2,952 males and 56 females) in its custodial facilities waiting for their dates of execution.
“In cases where an appeal has been exhausted and the convicts are not mounting any challenge to their conviction, the state should go ahead to do the needful and bring closure to their cases,” Aregbesola said.
Meanwhile, he noted that the nation’s correctional facilities have the capacity for 57,278 inmates but are currently stuffed with a total of 68,747 inmates, made up of 67,422 males and 1,325 females.
Also, he said 50,992 inmates representing about 74 per cent of the total inmates are awaiting trials, while only 17,755 inmates, about 26 per cent of the inmates are the actual convicts
Aregbesola maintained that governors were at liberty to free some of the condemned inmates, particularly those who have grown old on account of the long time they have been in the facilities and those that have terminal illnesses.
Meanwhile, the Minister disclosed that the Federal Government would build more correctional facilities to cover the six geo-political zones of the country, in addition to the 3,000 high-capacity custodial centre it is building in Kano and Rivers states, as well as Abuja.