The Federal Government of Nigeria says N4.5 trillion was saved through effective defence of cases instituted against the government in various courts.
The Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, stated this on Wednesday at the end of the meeting of the Federal Executive Council which held at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
Briefing State House correspondents, Mr. Malami said he presented the scorecard of the justice ministry for three years
“The ministry presented a scorecard from 2015-2017 to council focusing on – sector reforms, prison decongestions, prosecution and defence of cases, prosecution of Boko Haram cases and number of convictions recorded as well as number of discharge and number of plea bargain cases including high profile one.
“In respect of federal ministry of justice what was presented to the council today is the scorecard from 2015 to 2017,” he said.
He also said the federal government has put in place a committee saddled with the responsibility of coming up with policies and strategies that will ease off congestion of prisons.
“Over 70 per cent of the inmates are awaiting trials, there are sizeable number that couldn’t afford to pay limited fine that have been imposed on them arriving from their convictions.
“There are those awaiting trials that have never seen the court room for over five years and above and indeed there are multiple legislations that are before the National Assembly that are intended to support the decongestion of prison formation process,” he said.
He said his ministry “equally presented a scorecard as to cases – both civil and criminal – that were prosecuted by the Federal Ministry of Justice and their implications as to savings that were done for the government commencing from 2015 to the present time.
“Fundamentally arising from the cases that were conducted by the Federal Ministry of Justice, the ministry has succeeded in saving the government around N4.5 trillion relating to the claims that were presented in respect of these cases which were indeed conducted and concluded,” he said.
He also said he presented what his ministry has achieved with the prosecution of Boko Haram cases.
“We presented a position as to the number of cases that were prosecuted, number of convictions that were procured and the number of discharges that were made relating to the cases and then made a presentation as to the road maps for the continuation of the process.
“There were other presentations that were made particularly as it relates to plea bargain. There are a lot of pending criminal cases in respect of which the accused persons standing trials made offers for plea bargain.
“Again there are high profile cases that we made our scorecard and gave an insight as to their respective positions.
“A presentation was made relating to national prosecution team as it relates to the cases they are expected to prosecute,” he said.
Mr. Malami also said the total number of convictions in the second phase of the trial of Boko Haram terrorists stands at 255 while the number of persons discharged stands at 737.