February 23, (THEWILL) – The federal government has ordered the immediate decongestion of correctional facilities across the country, in line with the Nigerian Correctional Service Act 2019, to reduce overcrowding.
Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola, gave the order at the decoration of 13 newly promoted Assistant Controller Generals, (ACGs), and 57 Controllers of the service and the commissioning of 30 operational vehicles in Abuja.
The minister said the NCoS should go into discussions with state governments on how to immediately decongest the facilities, as there has been an upsurge of inmates in recent times and three-quarters of the inmates in custody are awaiting trial.
Represented by Dr Shuaib Belgore, permanent secretary of the Ministry of Interior, Aregbesola congratulated the new ranks and urged the Controller General of the NCoS, Haliru Nababa, to direct all controllers in charge of correctional facilities to decongest the facilities as stipulated by the Act.
“May I remind the Controller General to direct all controllers in charge of correctional facilities across Nigeria to implement the minister’s directive to decongest the facilities as in the NCoS Act.
“We are all working for a humane environment where inmates can realise their potential and achieve their dreams while serving a jail term. They are human beings like you and me, hence the need for us to ensure good living conditions throughout their stay.
“Let me buttress this fact with Nigerian Correctional service Act 2019, section 12 subsection 8 as amended which states that ‘without prejudice to subsection 4, the state controller of correctional service in conjunction with the superintendent, shall have the power to reject more intakes of inmates where it is apparent that the correctional centre in question is filled to capacity.
“I will, therefore, advise you to be guided by of the Act with a view to ensuring that our correctional centres are decongested as the ongoing construction of facilities across the country will ultimately make this task achievable.
“the effort to decongest our correctional centres by the building of new facilities in Kano and Karshi in the Federal Capital Territory, (FCT), to not only accommodate inmates but to also provide better facilities for inmates, to improve their living conditions and to ensure skill acquisition in a conducive learning environment that will aid inmates’ reintegration back to the society”, he said.