The Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola, has said the increasing number of inmates awaiting trial is having a toll on the custodian centres and the available resources for the service.
Aregbesola, who blamed the congestion of prisons on the slow dispensation of justice, proposed that from the arrest of suspects to the conclusion of their cases in court, the period should not go beyond a year.
He expressed confidence that this was possible, adding that it took him 42 months to reclaim his mandate in Osun State but now took less than a year to conclude election tribunal cases.
Aregbesola spoke on day two of the Nigerian Correctional Service retreat for senior officers in Sokoto on Tuesday.
The minister said that there should be strong advocacy for rapid dispensation of justice.
He added that if it is done, it will reduce the large percentage of inmates in our correctional centres and that it will also be able to reduce the humongous cost of feeding them and the lack of not having enough resources.
He reiterated that reduction of the number of awaiting trial inmates by cutting short the period of trial to a maximum of 12 months will produce an outcome that will save the correctional centres from feeding them and will have enough to revamp the service and our centres.
Aregbesola also bemoaned what he described as the unbefitting status of some of the correctional facilities across the country, urging the personnel to mobilize community efforts to change the facial appearance of the facilities.