As the nation grapples with the issue of prison congestion, a research report by the Centre for Justice, Mercy and Reconciliation (CJMR) has revealed that arbitrary arrest and illegal detention is one of the major factors for prison congestion in Nigeria with various inmates arrested and detained for crimes by the police but without trial. YEJIDE GBENGA-OGUNDARE reports.
Over the years, there has been the issue of congestion in custodial centres of the Nigerian Correctional Centre across the country as many of these centres are always filled with more than double their population capacity every day. However, contrary to belief, most of those behind bars are not convicts as many are awaiting trial inmates who may at the end of the day be declared innocent of the allegations against them.
In this group, however, are people who are charged with minor and bailable offences but for one reason or the other are languishing in custody. A research has revealed that arbitrary arrest and illegal detention is a major cause for prison congestion.