Intl Prisoners’Justice Day: NCoS reports decline in number of pretrial inmates
*As Stakeholders advocate increased global response to justice
Nigerian Correctional Service, (NCoS) has said that the number of pretrial inmates in its custody has declined from 79,785 to 79,076, a difference of 706.
Controller General of the Service, Haliru Nababa, made this known at an International Conference on Prisons Justice organised by Earthspring International in partnership with Vincention International Network for Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation, (VIN-JPC), themed ‘Enhancincing Global Response to Prisoners’ Justice, yesterday in Abuja
He said “In recent past, the Service has witnessed significant improvement in the area of access to justice by awaiting trial inmates because of the massive improvement in logistics support.
“The era of inmates missing their day in court due to lack of mobility has been mitigated to its barest minimum. This feat is better appreciated with a knowledge of the current disposition of inmates in NCoS Custody.
“As of July 31, 2023, 54,171 inmates, representing 69% of 79,076 are awaiting trial, while a paltry 24,905 which is 31%, are convicted. This remains the most daring setback, confronting the NCoS. One can only imagine the enormity of having to consistently meet up with producing inmates in court, as and when due, coupled with the complications of managing such a high number of pre-trial detainees, amidst some form of overcrowding.”
Nababa, who was honoured with an award of Excellent Leadership alongside his Principal Staff officer, (PSO),Salisu Mamma, with an Excellent Service award, pointed that “Another positive intervention is the Correctional Information Management System, (CIMS), which has been developed to systematically manage cases of Awaiting Trial Inmates, (ATI).
Represented by Deputy Controller General in charge of Finance and Account, Abdullahi Magaji, he said “This has assisted greatly in the smooth administration of our Custodial Centres, given that useful data is readily accessible.”
While advocating for increase global action towards greater response towards prisoners’ justice, conference convener, Reverend Father Victor Nyoroh, explains that August 10th is the day officially set aside for prisoners and their supporters to honour the memory of those who have died unnatural deaths while in prison.
He said the conference aims to “proffer far reaching solutions that will help reshape the criminal justice system to be more effective and efficient.”
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