By Joy Odor
The Nigerian Correctional Service (NCoS) has comfermed the attack on its Custodialat Centres Benin and Oko in Benin City by suspected protesters under the #ENDSARS protest, freeing inmates legally interned by courts of competent jurisdiction in Edo State.
The Service stated this in a press statement on Monday, saying the action is unfortunate as it does not portray the peaceful, no violence, no destruction mantra hither-to presented by the #ENDSARS protesters.
The exact figures of escapees and casualties are yet to be confirmed and will be communicated after preliminary investigations.
Efforts are underway to arrest the situation and return normalcy back to the Centres. The Armed Squad Personnel of the Service is working tirelessly to bring the situation under control.
The public is therefore enjoined to go about their businesses in a peaceful manner, resist and shun attempts of being used to destabilize the peace in the state by destructing individual and public institutions.
It should be noted that the Controller General of Corrections, Ja’afaru Ahmed under the supervision of the Minister of Interior, Mr Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola has commenced the full implementation of the Nigerian Correctional Service Act, 2019 signed into law by President Muhammadu Buhari GCFR, which provides for far reaching reforms in Criminal Justice Administration in the following areas;
Massive and continuous decongestion of Custodial Centresacross the country where more than 10,000 inmates have so far been released.
Up grade in infrastructural facilities in NCoS with the construction of a 3,000-capacity custodial centres in each the 6 geopolitical zones of the country and the rehabilitation of existing ones.
Upgrade in the logistics capability of the Service and so far more that 450 operational vehicles has been procured to ensure speedy dispensation of justice.
Implementation of the non-custodial measures as provided in NCoS Act, 2019 whereby inmates can be sentenced to various terms of community service where they are not confined in the custodial centers to serve their sentences.
The administration of President Muhammadu Buhari is committed to securing the lives and properties of all Nigerians and will leave no stone unturned in ensuring adequate dispensation of justice for all.
The Service however called on all Nigerians with useful information that will lead to the recapturing of fleeing inmates to report to any nearest Custodial Centres, Police station or any other Security Agency.
DCC AC Njoku
Public Relations Officer