#EndSARS: FG condemns invasion Custodial Centres at Edo, launches manhunt on fleeing inmates

THE Federal Government has condemned the Monday morning attack on the Nigerian Correctional Service (NCoS) Custodial Centres at Benin and Oko in Benin City by hoodlums during the #EndSARS protests in the state, freeing inmates legally interned by courts of competent jurisdiction in Edo State.

Controller General of Corrections, Ja’afaru Ahmed, has already ordered manhunt on the fleeing inmates, urging Nigerians to volunteer useful information that would lead to their recapture.

Ahmed in a statement by the Public Relations Officer of NCoS, Mr Augustine Njoku, while also ordering an investigation into the incident, described the invasion as unfortunate.

He, however, said exact figures of escapees and casualties were yet to be confirmed and would be communicated after preliminary investigations.

The CG said: “Efforts are underway to arrest the situation and return normalcy back to the Centres. The Armed Squad Personnel of the Service is working tirelessly to bring the situation under control.

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“The public is therefore enjoined to go about their businesses in a peaceful manner, resist and shun attempts of being used to destabilize the peace in the state by destructing individual and public institutions.

“It should be noted that the Controller General of Corrections, Ja’afaru Ahmed under the supervision of the Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola has commenced the full implementation of the Nigerian Correctional Service Act, 2019 signed into law by President Muhammadu Buhari, which provides for far-reaching reforms in Criminal Justice Administration.

“Some of the reform areas include massive and continuous decongestion of Custodial Centres across the country where more than 10,000 inmates have so far been released.

“Upgrade in infrastructural facilities in NCoS with the construction of a 3,000-capacity custodial centre in each the 6 geopolitical zones of the country and the rehabilitation of existing ones.

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“Upgrade in the logistics capability of the Service and so far more that 450 operational vehicles has been procured to ensure speedy dispensation of justice.

“Implementation of the non-custodial measures as provided in NCoS Act, 2019 whereby inmates can be sentenced to various terms of community service where they are not confined in the custodial centers to serve their sentences,” the statement said.

He added that the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari was committed to securing the lives and property of all Nigerians and would leave no stone unturned in ensuring adequate dispensation of justice for all.

“The Service, however, is calling on all Nigerians with useful information that will lead to the recapturing of fleeing inmates to report to any nearest Custodial Centres, Police station or any other Security Agency,” he said.

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