Abdulrahman Dambazau, the Minister of Interior, on Sunday, revealed that more than 70 percent of inmates in Nigerian prisons were awaiting trial.
Dambazau said this when he visited Kano central prison to mark this year’s Eid-el Fitr celebration.
The minister said the decision to visit the prison was to show to the inmates that the government was aware of their existence.
“The high number of awaiting trial inmates is worrisome, because the prisons are meant for convicts, but you find out at the end of the day that more than 70 percent of the people there are awaiting trial inmates,” he said.
Dambazau added that, “some of the inmates were supposed to stay for few years but ended up staying for up to 15 years.”
He, however, lauded the state governor for giving a vast piece of land for the building of 3,000 capacity modern prison in the state.
Speaking earlier, Abdullahi Ganduje, governor of the state, who accompanied the minister, said he had secured the release of 50 inmates and also approved the release additional 500 inmates in prisons across the state.
He said that the gesture was part of the activities to celebrate Eid-el-Fitr.
Ganduje said the beneficiaries were selected based on gravity of their offence and sign of reformation while in prison.
He advised them to desist from acts that would warrant them returning to prison.