At least, 1,317 inmates were pardoned by the federal and state governments between January 2022 and December 2023, Saturday PUNCH reports.
This figure was obtained from media reports compiled by our correspondent on Friday.
The number of inmates in the various custodial centres across the country rose by 2,937 between 2022 and 2023, our correspondent gathered.
In December 2022, the total number of inmates was 75,509, but it increased to 78,446 in December 2023.
According to the latest summary of inmate population on the website of the Nigerian Correctional Service, out of the 78,446 inmates, 54,141 are awaiting trial. The figure comprised 52,800 males and 1,341 females.
Our correspondent gathered that no fewer than 707 inmates were pardoned in 2022 and more than 610 inmates were pardoned in 2023.
According to findings, inmates were pardoned by state governors based on recommendations or after due consultations with the state Council on the Prerogative of Mercy.
On October 1, 2023, Adamawa, Plateau, and Nasarawa state governments pardoned 24 prison inmates in commemoration of the 63rd independence anniversary.
The NCoS spokesperson, Federal Capital Territory Command, Adamu Duza, who recently spoke to Saturday PUNCH said non-custodial measures should be given more consideration, adding, “The non-custodial measure is a major game changer in the business of corrections, as it not only an alternative to imprisonment but a means of decongesting our custodial centres, saving cost for the government, providing free service to the community and also a revenue generator.”