Aregbesola launches prison control room


Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola, has launched a command and control room at the National Headquarters, and effective surveillance has been installed in the custodial centers to monitor the activities in a few chosen centers una bid to digitalize the Nigerian Correctional Service.

This was said by Aregbesola in his speech on Monday at the inauguration of the service operational vehicles, junior staff quarters, command and control rooms for information and communications technology, unveiling of the new uniform for the NCoS staff, and award presentation to selected staff for bravery.

He added that this new breakthrough would allow for monitoring of prisoners without violating their legal rights.

Aregbesola noted, “The NCoS is now, in line with what is obtainable internationally, becoming digitised. A Command and Control room is now established at the National Headquarters, while effective surveillance is mounted in the custodial centres to monitor the activities in some selected centres. This is a laudable landmark as it is the first of its kind in the history of the NCoS.

“With eagle eyes on the custodial centres at all times, inmates can be monitored without any violation of their rights. With this development, jailbreaks and riots in our custodial centres can be prevented, checked and nipped in the bud before it escalates and external attacks can also be foiled since the service now has eyes everywhere.”

Aregbesola noted during the inauguration that the operable cars will help transport prisoners to court and to their appointment with justice.

He also added that the new uniform symbolised “the transition from a punitive prison system to a reformatory corrections system that is now the philosophy of the service.”

The Minister explained, “The NCoS is required by law to convey awaiting trial inmates in custody to have their days in court. This is integral to the justice delivery system. Since the courts cannot possibly be there for a particular suspect’s case, inability to appear in court would lead to adjournment and prolonged trial.

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“Therefore, operational vehicles have been purchased to ease the movement of inmates to, and from court, and have their date with justice. It is my firm belief that these vehicles will serve the purpose.

“In line with the Service’s commitment to improvement of staff welfare, we are also here today to inaugurate buildings meant for the accommodation of junior staff. This will enhance early resumption to duty and service delivery as expected since they will have the opportunity of living right inside the National Headquarters.

“In recent times, some custodial centres were subjected to external attacks, leading to the escape of some inmates. In bringing them back to custody, some members of staff lost their lives while others sustained varying injuries in the process. To all those officers that had performed their duties as expected of them during these incidents, we salute your doggedness, sense of patriotism and gallantry.

“Rewarding such gallant officers is in line with the NCoS Act, 2019 section 26 subsection 2a and b which states that the purpose of the Correctional Officers Reward Fund is for ‘rewarding correctional officers for extra or special service such as gallantry, long or meritorious service.’

“The change in the name from Nigerian Prisons Service to Nigerian Correctional Service requires a new face in the Service uniform that will reflect corrections not only as a name but in practice. We are also here therefore to unveil the new uniform for the NCoS.”

The NCoS basic requirements must be realized, according to the Controller General of Corrections, Haliru Nababa, who made this statement in his welcome speech.

Nababa continued, “The Service will experience significant progress in service-delivery” with the new development.

“Indeed, the NCoS is highly motivated and poised to conquer more grounds, justifying all of governments’ huge investments in the Service.”

40 operational vehicles, a block of junior staff barracks and a situation/monitoring room were inaugurated.