From Joseph Inokotong, Abuja
The Federal Government has directed the new controller general (CG) of the Nigerian Correctional Service (NCoS), Haliru Hababa, to fish out bad eggs that smuggle prohibited items to inmates and assist them in running criminal operations while in custody.
Also, the Federal Government charged Hababa 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, Rauf Aregbesola, when he decorated Hababa with his new rank in Abuja, yesterday.
He said: “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.”
The minister said 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 Hababa 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.
“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.”