President Muhammadu Buhari has called for urgent measures towards the speedy trial of cases and decongestion of custodial centres in the country in view of Covid-19 pandemic.
In a letter to the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Hon. Justice Ibrahim Tanko Muhammad, the President drew His Lordship’s attention to the recent call by the United Nations on all countries “to consciously reduce the population of prison inmates since physical distancing and self-isolation in such conditions are practically impossible.”
According to President Buhari, “From available records, the inmates population at various custodial centres across the country presently stands at about 74,127 out of which 52,226 are Awaiting Trial Persons (ATPs).
“Most of these custodial centres are presently housing inmates beyond their capacities and the overcrowded facilities pose a potent threat to the health of the inmates and the public in general in view of the present circumstances, hence the need for urgent steps to bring the situation under control.”
In view of the above scenario, the President said “it has become imperative for Your Lordship to request State Chief Judges to embark on immediate visit to all custodial/correctional centres within their respective States to identify and release deserving inmates where that has not been done already.”
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