A new report by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), on Thursday noted that Lagos State had a total of 6,522 prisoners, out of which a significant 5,603 or 85.9% were “Un-Sentenced,” or awaiting trial detainees at the end of 2015.
This makes Lagos the state with the highest number of such “un-sentenced” inmates; followed by Rivers and Edo States with 3,625 and 2,434 un-sentenced detainees, while
Yobe and Borno States had the least numbers 163 and 216 out of a prison population of 562 and 603 respectively, according to the NBS data.
In terms of detainee figure, Lagos accounted for 10.47% of the total 62,260 prison population in the country that year, followed in prison population nationwide by Kano and Rivers States with populations of 4,082 or 6.55% and 4,054 inmates, or 6.51% respectively.
Prison population in 2015 rose by about 11.06% in comparison to the overall prison population in 2014 of 56,059 inmates.
According to the yearly breakdown in the report titled: “Number of un-sentenced detainees and overall prison population by state and year (2011-2015),” the North Central had a prison population of 6,684 inmates in 2011, representing 13.51% share of state prison population nationwide, Benue had the highest percentage of un-sentenced prison population of 1,256 inmates, representing 84.92% of the 1,479 inmates.
In the South East, had 7,665 prison inmates representing 15.49% of the total, out of which 6,826 were un-sentenced, led by Enugu with 2,027 inmates, of which 1,787 were unsentenced, representing 88.16% while Anambra led in the percentage of un-sentenced population with 93.29% of its total 1,362 of 1,460 total inmates. The South East also recorded very high percentage of un-sentenced prison population with Abia’s 1,074 out of 1,266 inmates making it the lowest.
Also according to the 2011 figures provided by the Nigerian Prison Service, according to the NBS report, the North East recorded one of the lowest ratio of un-sentenced inmate to total prison population 2,984 inmates being un-sentenced out of the total 6,686 of which Adamawa had the highest with 1,985 inmates and 851 or 42.87% un-sentenced; while Bauchi with 974 prisoners, had 565 of them or 58.01% awaiting trial. Yobe had the lowest number- 258 or 42.16% of 612 inmates awaiting trial.
In the South South of 2011, there were 9,095 inmates (figures for Bayelsa were not available), out of which 7,524 were un-sentenced, with Rivers having both the highest number of inmates and un-sentenced population at 3,362 population with 2,881 of them being un-sentenced- the highest number on both counts. The lowest was Cross River with 999 inmates (the lowest in the zone) and 762 or 76.28% un-sentenced.
There were 9,319 prison population in the seven states of the North West with a total of 5,187 un-sentenced, led by Kaduna with 2,846 inmates, of which just 805 or 42.75% were un-sentenced. Zamfara with 604 however had the highest percentage of un-sentenced inmates of 70.53%; followed by Sokoto with 983 prison inmates accounted for 601 un-sentenced or 67.30%.
In the South West, which recorded 10,032 prison inmates, 8,486 were un-sentenced, with Lagos having 5,324 population and 4,615 or 86.68% un-sentenced; followed from afar in absolute terms by Ogun with 1,967 inmates and 1,625 or 82.61% un-sentenced. Osun had the least with 481 of 616 inmates or 78.08% un-sentenced.
A summary of the year’s figure showed that there were 49,481 inmates in 2011, 35,331 or 71.40% of who were un-sentenced; while in the following year, the prison population had grown to 52,136 inmates, with 36,451 or 69.92% of them being un-sentenced.
By 2013, the number of inmates rose to 55,173 of which 38,024 or 68.92% were un-sentenced, representing a further drop in percentage.
The figure rose slightly to 56,059 prison inmates by 2014, with 38,888 of them or 69.37% un-sentenced.
In the five-year period, the rise in the number of un-sentenced prison inmate was sharpest in 2015, when it jumped by 6,270 inmates or 16.12% from 38,888 to 45,158 inmates, with the South South accounting for 11,073 inmates from the previous 9,371; followed by South West with 10,687 inmates, up from 8,839; while the North East contributed 3,604 to the total population from 3,391; among others.
By region also, the South East led in terms of un-sentenced population of prison inmates with 89.22%; followed by the South-South, 84.3% and the South-West, 83.6%