The Nigerian Correctional Service (NCoS) announced the reopening of Custodial Centres to admit all categories of inmates.
Controller General of Corrections, Ja’afaru Ahmed, who ordered the reopening of the CustodialCentres, on Wednesday, in Abuja, said the action became imperative to enhance access to justice and also to facilitate the administration of criminal justice in the country.
He also directed that all newly admitted inmates should be isolated for the mandatory period of 14 days in line with the COVID-19 protocol.
Public Relations officer of Corrections, Mr Augustine Njoku, in a statement said Ja’afaru Ahmed has also released guidelines that must be strictly complied with by officers in admission new inmates into the custodial centres.
He said: “Ja’afaru further stated that there are guidelines for the reopening of the Custodial Centres which all State Controllers and Officers In-Charge are directed to adhere strictly to.
“The guidelines are; resumption of the admission of all categories of inmates into designated Custodial Centres.
“Only designated custodial centres with isolation units are to admit inmates.
“The State Controllers are to avail the Judges in their various states the list of the designated Custodial Centres.
“All newly admitted inmates are to be isolated for the mandatory period of 14 days and COVID-19 screening should be conducted on all inmates at the isolation units.
“A confirmatory test after the 14 days should be conducted on all the inmates at the isolation units.
“Regular fumigation of the Custodial Centres should be carried out at agreed intervals.”
The statement equally noted that Staff members have undergone fundamental/ basic training before being deployed to isolation unit and only legal counsels are allowed a visit to the inmates, all procedures and protocols of COVID-19 screening are to be strictly observed.
The Controller General of Corrections implored the State Controllers to liaise with the Judiciary and other stakeholders in criminal justice administration to ensure the smooth take-off of these guidelines and fight against COVID-19 in our Custodial Centres.