The minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, has called on the judicial arm of government to support the ongoing reform in the Nigeria Correctional Service (NCoS) through timely conclusion of criminal cases.
He specifically advocated a 12-month timeline for dispensation of justice on criminal cases brought to the court.
He advocated this at the on-going comtroller -general of corrections’ retreat taking place in Sokoto, Sokoto State.
The minister said timely dispensation of justice on criminal cases will not only reduce the number of awaiting trial inmates and decongest the correctional facilities, but will also save the service a lot of money
Aregbesola appealed to the judiciary to ensure that from the arrest of suspects to conclusion of their cases in court, the maximum time spent on their trial should not be more than 12-months.
He explained that it was his fight for the restoration of his stolen mandate in 2007, that activated the judiciary to peg the conclusion of election cases to a year.
Speaking on the condition of correctional facilities in the country, Aregbesola said that beyond the law, attitudinal change is required from the society and personnel of Nigeria Correctional Service to drive the needed reform.
While bemoaning what he described as unbefitting status of some of the correctional facilities, the minister urged personnel in the correctional service to mobilise community efforts to change the facial appearance of their facilities
Also speaking at the event, immediate past minister of Interior, Gen. Abdulrahman Danbazau, said it is a necessity for Nigeria as a country to meet up with international standards on treatment of inmates and the facilities hosting them.
Danbazau maintained that though Nigeria is making progress on the prison reform, there is still the need to continue advocacy for decongestion of correctional centres.
He said congestion of correction centres is a major challenge that must be permanently addressed.