The Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice Abubakar Malami say over 12,000 inmates were released from various correctional centres across the country within the last six years in line with the policy of prison decongestion.
Justice Malami stated this during the 2023 budget presentation before the Senate Committee on Judiciary , Human Rights and Legal Matter.
The Attorney General said the federal government was able to decongest the over congested prisons across the country through policy actions aside the administration of Criminal Justice Act , meant for expeditious dispensation of Justice .
According to him, the problem of prison congestions was at the front burner of national discourse , which made President Muhammadu Buhari to set machineries in motion in different ways for required solution in 2015.
Aside 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.
He explained that Special attention was given to awaiting trial persons who constitute the bulk of the inmates across the various correctional centres in the country by taking Magistrates and Judges to the Centres for on the spot dispensation of Justice.
The Minister of Justice emphasized that with the policy guidelines in place no correctional centre is without required space.
Earlier , the Chairman of the Committee, Senator Opeyemi Bamidele said the 2023 budget estimates for the Federal Ministry of Justice and its agencies as contained in the Appropriation Bill ,is about N71.billion.
He commended the President Mohammad Buhari for increasing the budgetary provisions of the Council of Legal Education from N2.7billion to N10.12billion to assist the council in refurbishing the various Law Schools.
Reporting by Amaka Jones, Editing by Marian Benjamin