The Federal Government revealed on Tuesday that over 12,000 inmates were released from various prison centres across the country within the last six years in line with the policy of prison decongestion.
The Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami revealed this to members of the Senate Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters during the 2023 budget defence session with the committee.
Malami, who made the declaration in response to a question from Senator Ajibola Basiru (APC Osun Central), said the federal government was able to decongest the over-congested prisons across the country through policy actions aside from the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, meant for expeditious dispensation of justice.
“When this government came on board in 2015, the problem of prison congestion was at the front burner of national discourse, which made President Muhammadu Buhari to set machineries in motion in different ways for the required solution.
“One of such machineries set in motion was a Presidential Committee set up for prison decongestion which liaised with other stakeholders in the Justice sector for a way out.
“Aside from the committee, Mr President himself also wrote letters to the 36 states governors and chief judges of the states for required visitations to prisons and exercise of prerogative of mercies from time to time