As part of measures to decongest prisons, the Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola has enjoined State Governors to go ahead and sign death warrants of condemned prisoners.
Rauf was at the Osun State Command Headquarters complex of the Nigeria Correctional Service in Osogbo, when he said this.
He suggested three ways to decongest prisons. The first was speedy passage of justice, in order to curtail delays brought about by prolonged, often too long stay in prison.
The second option was for State Governors to establish holding cells for inmates and provide funds for their their upkeep.
“In cases where appeal has been exhausted and the convicts are not mounting any challenge to their conviction, the state should go ahead, one, to do the needful and bring closure to their cases; two, set some others free on compassionate grounds, especially those who have grown old on account of the long time they have been in custody, those who are terminally ill and those who have been reformed and demonstrated exceptionally good behaviour; and three, commute others’ sentences to life or a specific term in jail.”
He said, “The third way is for state governors to summon the will to do the needful on death row convicts. There are presently 3,008 condemned criminals waiting for their date with the executioners in our meagre custodial facilities. This consists of 2,952 males and 56 females.