Mr. Rauf Aregbesola, Minister of Interior, has said the signing of death warrants of condemned inmates on death row is one of the ways state governors can help reduce congestion in correctional facilities across the country.
Speaking while inaugurating the newly constructed headquarters of the Nigerian Correctional Service, NCS in Osogbo, Osun state capital on Friday, July 23, the Minister said jail congestion is the major headache of the Service.
He lamented that the entire national custodial facility with a maximum capacity of 57,278 inmates, currently has a total population of 68,747 inmates, made up of 67,422 males and 1,325 females.
Aregbesola explained that condemned inmates who have exhausted their appeals and are not challenging the conviction could have their death warrant signed by state governors.
Also added that governors could free some condemned convicts on compassionate grounds due to old age or illness. other inmates that have demonstrated exceptionally good behavior could also be released or have their sentences commuted to life or specific terms in jail.
He disclosed that out of the 3,008 condemned criminals awaiting executions in Nigerian prisons, 2,952 were males and 56 females.
The minister disclosed that 68,747 inmates, comprising of 67,422 males and 1,325 females, are now been detained in facilities meant for 57,278 detainees.