The Nigerian Correctional Service (NCoS) disclosed that the Federal Government is currently constructing six ultra-modern custodial centres with 3,000-capacity in each of the geo-political zones of the country.
The additional facilities are being built in a bid to decongest the centres across the country.
The spokesman for the Service, Mr Abubakar Umar, said in a statement on Friday that the Federal Government was commited to reduce population in the prisona and also ensure that they are in good shape.
“Presently, the Service is also constructing six new ultra-modern custodial centres with 3,000 capacity in each of the geo-political zones of Nigeria.
“In a matter of weeks, the one located in Janguza, Kano State, will be commissioned and put to use. With these facilities coming on board, the issue of decongestion will be a forgotten issue in Nigeria.
“There are other efforts which we are applying in decongesting our facilities such as encouraging regular jail delivery, pushing for clemency for offenders who qualify for it, and capacity building.
“Also, the NCoS Act 2019 in Section 12, sub section 8, empowers the Controller of Corrections in conjunction with the Officer-in-Charge of the custodial centre to reject intake of offenders when it is apparent that the facility is filled to capacity,” he said.
According to the National Bureau Statistics (NBS), at least 65 correctional facilities are overcrowded in Southwest with the high number of those awaiting trial and also poor management accounting for overcrowding.
Persecondnews gathered that overcrowding at the correctional centres has made them vulnerable to jail breaks and attacks.
Jail breaks in Nigeria is gradually becoming a norm with over 7,000 prisoners escaping from different facilities since 2015 as over 5,000 cases were recorded in just one year in 2020.
Hoodlums launched coordinated attacks on the Benin and Oko prisons in Edo State taking advantage of the #EndSARS protest to free 1,993 inmates from both facilities, only 207 of the escaped prisoners were rearrested.
Another worrisome attack was carried out in April, 2021 at the Owerri Custodial Centre, an operation which lasted for two hours, 1884 inmates were set free, and according to the prison authorities 600 inmates were either re-arrested, after the attack.
Persecondnews recalls that terrorists had on July 5, 2022 attacked the Kuje Medium Security Correctional Centre in Abuja with a cocktail of Improvised Explosive Devices and high-calibre weapons to free imprisoned fighters.
More than 800 prison inmates including 60 Boko Haram members escaped during the attack.
ISWAP, a breakaway faction of Boko Haram, had claimed responsibility for the attack and later released a video of the incident.