The Comptroller-General of the Nigerian Correctional Service (NCoS), Haliru Nababa, says Boko Haram insurgents, bandits, secessionists and other groups are demanding the release of their members from its custody.
There had been incidents of jailbreaks resulting from attacks by gunmen on custodial centres in different parts of the country recently.
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Nababa spoke in Abuja on Tuesday at a lecture series themed ‘Community Correction in Criminal Justice System Transition from Prison to Community’ organised by Shamies Unusual Heart Foundation.
Nababa, represented by Comptroller Nwakeze Emmanuel, said: ‘’Some of the challenges we are facing include: overcrowding, especially custodial centres in urban centres, old and weak infrastructure resulting from several years of neglect, inadequate staffing, external attacks by bandits/terrorists among others.
‘’The emergence of the Boko Haram insurgency and other similar security threats, external attacks have been carried out on correctional facilities to release their members and possibly recruit new ones.
“Internal threats, such as riots escapes and jailbreaks have been perpetrated,’’ he said.
The Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola, represented by his Senior Special Adviser on Strategy, Ademola Adeyinka, said the government had enrolled 560 inmates for WAEC, NECO examinations.
‘’The Service, in partnership with the National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN), has increased the number of Study Centres to ten across Correctional formations (Abeokuta, Anambra, Enugu, Kaduna, Keffi, Kuje, Lafia, Lagos, Port Harcourt, and Umuahia) and there are currently about 465 inmates running various Degree programmes,” Aregbesola added.