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The Federal Government on Saturday said it plans to build six modern custodial facilities in the six geo-political zones in the country in the months ahead.
The Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola, stated this while inspecting the ongoing Model Maximum Security Custodial facility project, Janguza, Kumbotso Local Government Area of Kano State.
Mr. Aregbesola said the project was part of programs initiated by President Muhammadu Buhari to reform the correctional service.
He said: ‘We are actualizing our commitment to reform Correctional Service that we have in Nigeria.
‘What we have here is a model of what we expect to have nationwide and here is a 3,000 custodial facility, and we plan to have it in each of the six geo-political zones.
‘This is more advanced in terms of space and other facilities. It is designed for inmates awaiting trial, petty, medium and maximum security facility.
‘I am highly impressed by the pace and quality of work,’ he said.
Mr Aregbesola lauded President Buhari for his support to the Correctional service reforms aimed at enhancing its operations.
Speaking earlier, Ahmad Jafaru, the Controller-General, Nigeria Correctional Service (NCoS), said the project was designed with dormitories, a school, a hospital, a skills acquisition center, and a mosque among others.
The Nigerian Correctional Service (NCS) like any other correctional institution across the globe is saddled with the responsibility of accommodating awaiting trial inmates as well as convicted inmates for the purpose of rehabilitation. In an attempt to do so, the NCS has made concerted efforts to achieve one of the main objectives of its existence despite some of the challenges bedeviling its operations.
The Nigerian correctional facilities are, according to one account, meant to hold a little over 50, 000 inmates but in the words of the CJN, ‘from available records, the inmate population at various custodial centers across the country at present stands at 74, 127, out of which 52, 226 are Awaiting Trial Persons (ATPs).’ This is outrageous. It is unacceptable in a humane society.
AFRICA DAILY NEWS, NEW YORK