Number of inmates awaiting trial declining, says NCoS
• Stakeholders advocate increased global response to justice
Nigerian Correctional Service (NCoS) has said the number of pre-trial inmates in its custody has declined to 79,076 from 79,785, a difference of 706.
Controller-General of NCoS, Haliru Nababa, made this known, yesterday, in Abuja, at the International Conference on Prisons Justice, with the theme, ‘Enhancing Global Response to Prisoners’ Justice’ organised by Earthspring International, in partnership with Vincentian International Network for Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation (VIN-JPC).
He said: “Of recent, 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 the barest minimum. This feat is better appreciated with knowledge of the disposition of inmates in NCoS custody.
“As at July 31, 2023, about 69 per cent (54,171) of 79,076 inmates were awaiting trial, while 31 per cent (24,905) were convicted. This remains the most daring setback to 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, amid some form of overcrowding.”
Nababa, who was honoured with an award of Excellent Leadership and his Principal Staff Officer (PSO), Salisu Mamma, with Excellent Service award, pointed out: “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 (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 increased global action for greater response towards prisoners’ justice, Conference Convener, Rev. Fr. Victor Nyoroh, explained that “August 10 is the day officially set aside for prisoners and their supporters” to honour those who died prematurely in prison.
According to him, the conference aims to proffer far-reaching solutions that will help reshape the criminal justice system for efficiency.
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