The Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola, on Friday, urged state Governors to sign death warrants of the over 3,008 condemned criminals whose appeals had been exhausted and waiting for execution, as part of measures to decongest prisons nationwide.
Aregbesola made this statement during the inaugurating of the Osun State Command headquarters complex of the Nigeria Correctional Service in Osogbo.
The Minister suggested three ways the Governors can help in prison decongestion.
“In cases where appeal has been exhausted and the convicts are not mounting any challenge to their conviction, the state should go ahead, one, to do the needful and bring closure to their cases; two, set some others free on compassionate grounds, especially those who have grown old on account of the long time they have been in custody, those who are terminally ill and those who have been reformed and demonstrated exceptionally good behaviour; and three, commute others’ sentences to life or a specific term in jail.
“The third way is for state Governors to summon the will to do the needful on death row convicts. There are presently 3,008 condemned criminals waiting for their date with the executioners in our meagre custodial facilities. This consists of 2,952 males and 56 females.