Nigeria’s attorney-general and minister for justice Abubakar Malami PHOTO: TWITTER/Abubakar Malami
Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, has called on the judicial arm of government to support ongoing reform of the Nigerian Correctional Service (NCoS) through speedy conclusion of criminal cases.
He specifically canvassed a 12-month timeline for dispensation of justice. Blaming the #EndSARS demonstrations for the rise in attacks on custodial facilities nationwide, Aregbesola said measure had been taken to forestall future violent protests.
He regretted that the COVID-19 lockdown provided a veritable opportunity for the protesters to allegedly unleash more destruction on the already battered economy.
In his remarks, Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, said the Federal Government was considering sending a new bill to the National Assembly to address the gaps in the Nigerian Correctional Service Act, 2019.
The bill, he pointed out, would take into consideration the pivotal role of technology in corrections management and use of non-custodial sentencing in line with Section 470(2) C of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act (ACJA), 2015 to bring about internationally accepted standards.
Represented by Sokoto State Commissioner for Justice, Suleiman Usman, the AGF disclosed that Federal Executive Council (FEC) had approved a contract for installation and implementation of Virtual Automated Case Management System (VAMS), which incorporates an integrated biometric prisoner’s information to fast-track decongestion of custodial facilities in Nigeria.
For Minister of Interior, General Abdulrahman Dambazau (rtd) said one major issue custodial centres have been battling with was overcrowding.
NCoS Controller-General, Haliru Nababa, expressed the hope that the two-day retreat would not only afford the hierarchy of the agency to restrategise for efficiency, it would also serve to provide clear perception on set targets.
He submitted that the current capacity of the 244 custodial facilities was 58, 278 as against the population of 75,000 inmates they house.
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