Nigeria: 47,229 awaiting trial in our prisons, says Osinbajo

The Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, monday lamented the delay in the country’s justice administration, which he said was the reason 47,229 detainees “are still awaiting trial in the prisons.”

Likewise, Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, said no country would achieve sustainable economic growth without a functional judicial system, which he said was an attraction for foreign investors.

The duo expressed concern on the country’s rising prison population at a stakeholders’ forum on justice administration organised by the Lagos State Ministry of Justice at Eko Hotel and Suites, Victoria Island. The forum, which was convened by the Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Kazeem Adeniji, was designed to discover more innovative ways to strengthen the capacity of the justice sector.

Osinbajo, who was represented by the Minister of Justice and Attorney-General of the Federation, Mallam Abubakar Malami, said awaiting trial detainees spent an average of three years in custody waiting trial.

He reeled out data on the condition of the country’s prison system and justice administration, noting that there were 47,229 detainees currently awaiting trial in the prisons as at 2017.

He put the total prison population at 67,586 out of which 47,229 “are awaiting detainees. We discover detainees spend average of three years in custody awaiting trial.”

The vice president added that Lagos State “has the highest number of unsentenced detainees in Nigeria. Lagos State has 5,603 unsentenced detainees out of the total prison population of 6,532.”

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