COVID-19: MALAMI ORDERS GOVERNORS, JUDGES TO RELEASE PRISONERS (ATPs) UNCONDITIONALLY OR OTHERWISE
The Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN), has asked governors in the country to take urgent measures towards speedy decongestion of prisons in the country in view of the COVID–19 pandemic.
The minister also said in a statement on Friday that available records showed that inmates at the various prisons across the country presently stands at 74,127, out of which 52,226 inmates are awaiting trial persons (ATPs).
Malami said the development posed a potent threat to the health of the inmates and the general public in view of the present circumstances, hence the need for urgent steps to bring the situation under control.
“In light of the above, the president requests all governors to request their state chief judges to embark on visits to all correctional/custodial centres within their respective states to identify and release deserving inmates where that has not been done already,” the letter reads in part.
The AGF explained that at the requested visit, chief judges are enjoined to consider conditional or unconditional release of ATPs who have spent six years or more in custody and those who have no confirmed criminal cases against them.