President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday said it was a national scandal for Nigeria’s prisons to be congested to up to 90 percent.

He said all stakeholders must devise a new approach to tackle the menace.

Buhari said this while addressing a delegation of the justices of the Supreme Court and the Appeal Court as well as heads of other judicial organs who paid him a courtesy visit at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

The delegation, led by the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Walter Onnoghen, visited the president to welcome him from his recent medical vacation.

“We need a new approach to prison congestion. It is a national scandal that many of our prisons are overcrowded by up to 90 percent.

“Urgent measures should be put in place to speedily decongest the prisons not only in the interest of justice but also to save cost of prisons’ maintenance and welfare of prisoners.

“My Attorney-General is advocating a setting up of courts inside the prisons to speed up decongestion and the logistic problems of transporting prisoners from prisons to courts.”

Buhari also said his administration was mindful of the challenges being faced by the judiciary especially in the areas of infrastructure and funding.

This, he said, made the Federal Government to increase the budget for the judiciary in the 2017 Appropriation Act.

He explained, “We are not unmindful of the daunting challenges faced by the judiciary in the areas of infrastructure and funding.

“This informed our decision to increase the judiciary budget in the 2017 fiscal year which we are committed to sustaining

“I am asking the AGF to take this matter up with the salaries and wages commission for advice to the President.

“I really appreciate the efforts you are making. We know that the stability of the country depends on the police and the judiciary.

“When people believe that their cases will be speedily and justifiably treated, I am telling you, they will mind their own businesses, but when they are in cover with the police and the judiciary, then we have a problem and the money that we need for development especially education infrastructure and health care will be spent on security.”

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