The Controller General of the Nigerian Correctional Service, Ja’afaru Ahmed has said that the service has not recorded any case of COVID-19 in any of the custodial centers across the country since the outbreak of the virus in the country.
Ahmed stated this on Wednesday in Abuja at the headquarters of the service when the Prisoners Rehabilitation and Welfare Action (PRAWA) and the Open Society Initiative of West Africa (OSIWA) both Non-Governmental Organizations donated palliatives and intervention materials to the service to effectively discharge their duties during this pandemic.
He also said the service was able to achieve this feat because of the high level of hygiene put in place since it was impossible to maintain social distance amongst the inmates.
“I want to assure you that these items will be judiciously used so that we ensure that we further consolidate on the gains that we have already achieved by not recording COVID-19 in any of our custodial centres across the country”, he added.
In his address, OSIWA Head of Nigeria Office, Mr Jude Udo Ilo said this initiative is part of the organisation’s Rapid Response Fund to implement an urgent response to COVID-19 emergency support to the Nigerian Correctional Service, inmates, petty Offenders and Other vulnerable persons.
Ilo, who was represented by Ms Tsema Okoye further said OSIWA believes that effective response means that all hands must be on deck to plug the gaps that impede rights protection in Nigeria’s systems.
He said this project is to ensure that inmates are not left behind in any human rights program maintaining that this intervention during the COVID-19 pandemic is to show that OSIWA is considering everybody and that the vulnerable, the marginalized are not forgotten at this time.
Director of PRAWA, Dr Uju Agomoh said the intervention materials are given out to aid the service as it strives to actualize the lofty objectives set for it in the NCoS Act of 2019.
Items donated to the service include, computers, mobile communication modems, phones for virtual visits, face mask, face shields, spraying cans amongst others.