The Nigerian Correctional Service (NCoS) has faulted reports that it has banned religious activities at custodial centres across the country with inmates
A statement signed Controller of Corrections, Public Relations of Enobore, dismissed the reports credited to Controller General of Corrections (CGC), Haliru Nababa, alleging that some mischief makers are responsible for spreading “unfounded” statement.
In contrary, the Service said encourages all forms of genuine visits to inmates by relations and well meaning individuals/groups in order to promote psycho-social support, which is pivotal to reformation and rehabilitation of inmates.
The statement read in part; “To put the records straight, visits to custodial centres was temporarily suspended in April, 2022 in compliance with National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) COVID-19 protocol in order to prevent the dreaded pandemic from entering Custodial Centres.
“Since the pandemic has not abated but continue to mutate, with the current virulent Omicron variant still uncaged, the Presidential Taskforce on COVID-19, in its wisdom, has advise the sustenance of preventive protocols which include, crowd control, strict monitoring of migration amongst others. Hence, the management of the NCoS is yet to relax the restriction on visits to Custodial Centres.
“The public may wish to note that while Custodial Centres in some developed climes suffered under the weight of the pandemic, custodial centres in Nigeria, with its overwhelming population phenomenon, is able to maintain zero infection status among the inmates. This is made possible through strict adherence to various preventive measures”.
The Service recalled that, through proactive and professional management of health issues amongst inmates, disease outbreaks like Ebola, Cerebral Spinal Meningitis (CSM), Lassa Fever just to mention a few, have been successfully prevented from entering custodial centres in Nigeria and no inmate has been lost to any of diseases.
However, the CGC appreciated the cooperation of members of the public in complying with the preventive measures and assured that the health and complete well being of inmates in custody will continue to enjoy prime attention in his administration.
While praying for an end to the pandemic, the Correction boss further assured all restrictions will be lifted as soon as advice to this effect is received from the appropriate authorities.