Foundation for Peace Professionals also known as PeacePro, a non-governmental organisation (NGO) championing advocacy for the release of unconvicted prisoners in Nigeria has commended the move by the federal government of Nigeria to free 30% of Nigerian prisoners.
PeacePro has also advised the Federal Ministry of Interior, led by Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola to increase the percentage of consideration to from 30% to 70% in order to ensure a total overall of the correctional facilities, owing to the fact that more than 70% of inmates in the country are non-convicted prisoners.
In a statement by the Executive Director, Abdulrazaq Hamzat, Peacepro maintained that setting free suspects, who have been held in detention without trial for a long period of time, is far more honourable than keeping people perpetually in prison over petty offences, insisting that such perpetual incarceration of unconvicted prisoners is considered “destructive incarceration” rather than “correctional incarceration”.
Hamzat had previously explained that the advocacy to end “destructive incarceration” in Nigeria is part of Peacepro’s recommendation to the federal government in the Nigeria Peace Index (NPI) report, a national replica of the renowned Global Peace Index.
According to him, data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) had shown that over 72% of people in prison cells or correctional facilities across Nigeria are unconvicted prisoners, some of whom had spent over 10 years in prison, for a crime that if convicted, they would probably spend fewer years in jail.
Recall that earlier, the federal government of Nigeria had announced its intention to free 30% of inmates in the country.
The Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola made this known when he appeared on the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) Forum in Abuja.
Aregbesola said that the interface was necessary as more than 90 per cent of the inmates were being held for contravening state laws.