NCoS officials arranging for convicts to evade serving term, not true – Enabore
The authorities of the Nigerian Correctional Service have observed, with great concern, the statement credited to a legal practitioner alleging that some officials of the Nigerian Correctional Service allow criminals to evade court verdicts by getting young men who will serve jail terms for criminals.
In a statement on Saturday, the Controller of Corrections, O Fransis Enobore, National Public Relations Officer, NCoS, said the allegation is wild and unsubstantiated, unpatriotic and most unfortunate, especially coming from a respected lawyer of international recognition.
“What is more worrisome is a growing consistency by the author to vilify the Nigerian Correctional Service without a just course.
“It would be recalled that in February 2021, the author alleged that a high profile inmate who was on remand in the Medium Security Custodial Centre, Kaduna, contracted COVID-19 in custody.
“The alarm, which insinuated that inmates were kept in squalor and exposed to debilitating health conditions, triggered condemnation from various quarters.
Subsequently, he said, an independent COVID-19 test by the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) in conjunction with the personal physician of the then inmate was conducted.
He maintained that the test result came negative, without a trace of the disease in her system.
He stated that now the alarm is being raised over hearsay arrangements to keep in custody, persons other than those legally convicted, yet no name of the person or custodial centre is mentioned.
The National PRO further maintained that the service is compelled to respond to the allegation in order to correct the wrong impression and prevent the disaffection the information is capable of creating in the minds of Nigerians.
For the avoidance of doubt, the process of admitting persons into custody begins with the court where the warrant is issued, stating the particulars of the person concerned.”
At the designated custodial centre, the personal details are confirmed by the superintending officer before further biometrics, including photographs, are taken.”
“On routine visits by the Controller in charge of the state, the inmates and their corresponding documents are checked.”
Furthermore, the Zonal Coordinator conducts his mandatory custodial centre inspection during which this information and general supervision of the yard are carried out.
The Controller-General, on his own, carries out unscheduled visits to any custodial centre, and prisoners’ records are checked.
Moreover, judges, lawyers, statutory custodial visitors, inmate relations, religious groups, civil society organizations, and a host of other visitors regularly interface with the inmates, and it is expected that where such an incident is observed, an alarm is raised for appropriate action to be taken.
Particularly intriguing in this scenario is the fact that the author is a public figure, like many other distinguished Nigerians, who cannot be denied access to any custodial centre in the country upon request for a genuine course. One therefore wonders why he would resort to wild statements rather than identify a particular culprit with proof of his allegation, as would be expected of a patriot.”
He stressed that as always, the Controller-General of Corrections, Haliru Nababa, is irrevocably committed to the good course of inmates’ care and support for the betterment of society, and the recent commendable performances of the inmates in both academic and vocational skills acquisition bear eloquent testimony to this positive trajectory.
While soliciting for constructive engagements and contributions from well-meaning Nigerians towards improving custodial management in the country,
Enabore added that the Controller General assured them of his unwavering determination to put the service on a higher pedestal.