By Joy Odor
The Nigerian Correctional Service (NCoS) has announced the reopening of Custodial Centres to admit all categories of inmates.
In a statement by the Controller General of the Corrections, Mr. Ja’afaru Ahmed, the action is necessary to enhance access to justice and also to facilitate the administration of criminal Justice in the Country.
Mr. Ja’afaru said there are guidelines for the reopening of the Custodial Centres which all State Controllers and Officers In-Charge are directed to adhere strictly to.
According to the statement, the guidelines are:
Resumption of the admission of all categories of inmates into designated Custodial Centres; only designated custodial centres with isolation units are to admit inmates; the State Controllers are to avail the Judges in their various states the list of the designated Custodial Centres
Others are, all newly admitted inmates are to be isolated for the mandatory period of 14 days;
COVID-19 screening should be conducted on all inmates at the isolation units; a confirmatory test after the 14 days should be conducted on all the inmates at the isolation units and Regular fumigation of the Custodial Centres should be carried out at agreed intervals.
He added that Staff members have undergone fundamental/ basic training before being deployed to isolation unit and only legal counsels are allowed visit to the inmates, all procedures and protocols of COVID-19 screening are to be strictly observed.
The Controller General implores the State Controllers to liaise with the Judiciary and other stakeholders in criminal justice administration to ensure the smooth take off of these guidelines and fight against COVID-19 in our Custodial Centres.
Deputy Controller of Corrections
Public Relations officer