Inmates to be isolated as Nigeria reopens prisons | Dailytrust

Inmates to be isolated as Nigeria reopens prisons


Nigerian Correctional Service (NCoS) on Wednesday says it is reopening its custodial centres across the country to admit all categories of inmates.

NCoS had closed the doors of its custodial centres in March, 2020 as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

But in a statement on Wednesday by Chucks Njoku, the Public Relations Officer of NCoS, the Controller General of Corrections Ja’afaru Ahmed said the reopening of custodial centres is necessary to enhance access to justice and facilitate the administration of criminal justice in the country.

It, however, said all newly admitted inmates are to be isolated for the mandatory period of 14 days.

“COVID-19 screening should be conducted on all inmates at the isolation units.

“A confirmatory test after the 14 days should be conducted on all the inmates at the isolation units,” Ja’afaru mandated in the statement.

Furthermore, the NCoS Controller General directed a regular fumigation of the custodial centres at agreed intervals.

According to the statement, only designated custodial centres with isolation units are to admit inmates.

Also, state controllers are to avail the judges in their respective states the list of the designated custodial centres.

Ja’afaru directed all state controllers and officers in-charge to strictly adhere to the guidelines for the reopening of the custodial centres.

The statement equally disclosed that staff members of NCoS have undergone fundamental/ basic training before being deployed to isolation units.

It further said only legal counsels are allowed visit to the inmates while insisting that all procedures and protocols of COVID-19 screening are to be strictly observed.

President Muhammadu Buhari had on 9 April approved the release of 2,600 inmates across the country as part of efforts to decongest the custodial centres and discourage the spread of coronavirus pandemic in the country.

However, at the last count, 3,751 inmates – comprising convicts and awaiting trial persons – who met the criteria set by the Presidential Advisory Committee on Prerogative of Mercy, had been released.

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