Omeiza Ajayi – Abuja

Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, has urged the judicial arm of government to support the ongoing reforms in the Nigeria Correctional Service NCoS by ensuring the immediate conclusion of criminal cases.

Speaking on Tuesday at a two-day Controller General of Corrections’ Retreat in Sokoto, Aregbesola specifically advocated a 12-month timeline for dispensation of justice on criminal cases brought to the court.

“The judiciary should ensure that from the arrest of suspects to conclusion of their cases in court, the maximum time spent on their trial should not be more than 12 months”, he urged.

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The minister also tasked personnel of the Correctional Service to begin the advocacy for a year dispensation of justice on criminal cases.

Aregbesola said he is a victim of delay in justice delivery, noting that his case on the restoration of his stolen mandate in 2007 activated the judiciary to peg the conclusion of election cases to a year.

The former governor of Osun State said timely dispensation of justice on criminal cases will not only reduce the number of awaiting trial inmates and decongest the correctional facilities but will also save the service a lot of money.

Aregbesola who bemoaned what he described as unbefitting status of some of the correctional facilities urged the NCoS personnel to mobilize community efforts to change the facial appearance of their facilities.

Also speaking at the event, immediate-past Minister of Interior, Gen. Abdulrahman Danbazau (retd), said it is a necessity for Nigeria as a country to meet up with international standards on treatment of inmates and the facilities hosting them.

Danbazau maintained that though Nigeria is making progress on the prison reform, there is still the need to continue advocacy for decongestion of correctional centres.

Vanguard News Nigeria

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