From Joseph Inokotong, Abuja
The Federal Government has directed the new Controller General (CG) of the Nigerian Correctional Service (NCoS), Haliru Nababa, to fish out bad eggs that smuggle prohibited items to inmates and assist them in running criminal operations while in custody.
The federal government has also charged Nababa to increase collaboration with other security agencies, especially in intelligence gathering as the facilities are a lode mine of intelligence and depositories of criminals that can be well tapped to national advantage.
The order was given by the Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, when he decorated Nababa with his new rank in Abuja on Monday.
‘There are a few bad eggs that smuggle prohibited items to inmates, assist them in running criminal operations while in custody, take them out to unapproved places and locations and wittingly or unwittingly facilitate jailbreak for them. They should be fished out. Their nefarious activities endanger the nation, other staff and inmates. There should be no place for them. There should be zero tolerance for them in the service,’ he said.
The minister noted that it is necessary to bolster discipline and professional integrity among the rank and file as an organisation is as strong and effective as the level of discipline within it.
He charged Nababa to keep in focus the core mandate of correction, stressing that the inmates must be kept healthy and safe from harm and from harming others.
According to the minister, while a custodial centre may not necessarily be a five-star hotel accommodation, ‘inmates must be reasonably fed and their health well taken care of. Their dignity should be well respected and they should be protected from abuse of any form – physical, sexual, verbal and psychological.’
He added that ‘they should leave the facilities on completion of their terms feeling well treated and their dignity as God’s creature restored. They should feel grateful for being handled by firm but kind and compassionate officers.’
Aregbesola pointed out that they are expected to have been reformed and come out better persons, noting that ‘this is why you have to double down on the moral, academic and vocational training of the inmates.’
He said the goal of making the custodial centres enterprise centres should be mainstreamed and the centres should be able to grow their own foods, build their own cells, be involved in construction and general enterprise.
‘Every inmate should be productive. No one should leave our facility without having imbibed the culture of wealth creation through creativity and hard work,’ the minister ordered.