According to the Nigerian Prisons Service, the conventional convict prisons are designed as remand for both the convicted and awaiting trial inmates. There are two major types of convict prisons operational in Nigeria today namely: The maximum and the medium security prisons. The maximum security prisons take into custody all classes of prisoners including condemned convicts; lifers, long term prisoners etcetera.
In 1989, the staff strength of the service was 18,000, a decrease from the 23,000 in 1983. By 1976, the average daily prison population was 26,000, a 25 per cent increase from 1975.
In 1989, Nigeria’s prison population was about 54,000. Lagos State was said to have accounted for the largest number then 6,400. Anambra, Kaduna and Borno had 4,000 each while Ondo, Kwara and Ondo had less than 1000 each. By 1989, the prison population had reached 58,000.
Speaking at a one-day quarterly roundtable on prison reform, Ogundipe stated that as at July 31, 2010, the total prisoners’ population was 47, 628. Out of the number, only 13,000 or 23 per cent were convicted persons while 34,328 or 77 per cent are awaiting trial. “It may interest you to know that up to 50 per cent of these ATPs have been on remand for between 5 and 17 years without their cases being concluded.“Ikoyi prison has an original capacity for 800 persons. Today, the population is 1,900. Out of this number, only 24 prisoners are convicts. Port Harcourt Prison has an installed capacity for 804 persons. Today, the prison locks up 2, 924 persons out of which only 117 persons are convicts.
According to him, Awka Prisons with an installed capacity for 238 persons presently accommodates 486 inmates out of which 21 are convicts.