Umahi to FG: Look into curricular of correctional services


By Victor Nwegede

Governor David Nweze Umahi of Ebonyi State has urged the Federal Government to look into the curricular of the Nigerian Correctional Service to know whether it merits what the name implies.

The Governor on Wednesday asked the members of House of Representatives Committee on Reformatory Institutions to inform the Federal Government the need to revisit the curricular of the country's correctional services to ensure its practical implementation as required for the revolution of criminal justice system.

Umahi was speaking on the heels of the poor management of the country's correctional centres facing structural downturns and dilapidated facilities; over congestion of the custodian centres, skint rations of the inmates with inept trainings and other complains coming from some quarters especially the discharged convicts as gathered.

Members, House of Representatives Committee on Reformatory Institutions in group picture with the representative of Governor David Umahi, his Deputy, Barr. Eric Kelechi Igwe and other state officials during the courtesy visit.

He requested that the committee on reformatory institutions which was led by member representing Ezza North-Ishielu Federal Constituency,  Rt. Hon. Edwin Anayo Nwonu to ask the Federal Government to look into the curricular to ensure all the correctional centres in the country attract a commendable standard while addressing the team at Exco-Chambers, Old Government House, Abakaliki.

According to him, "when you get back to Abuja, please as a committee of House Representatives on Correctional Services, speak to the Federal Government again about the food, the ration of the prison inmates. It is important that you look at the curricular of the correctional serrvice to know whether it is actually a correctional centre or a centre for punishment. 

"Nigeria through the criminal justice system has evolved the system where the inmates in the correctional centres are meant to acquire skills. They are meant to be trained, come out from that place very useful persons and instrument to the society. 

"It is important, you check once again, the curricular of the correctional services to be sure it is in tandem with the criminal justice system revolution."

The Governor ably represented by his Deputy, Barr. Eric Kelechi Igwe, said, the  outbreak of COVID-19 increased the challenges facing the country's correctional centres particularly in his state and however, asked the committee to inform the Presidential taskforce on Coronavirous to give greater attention on reformatory institutions with financial intervention to mitigate the situations. 

"We, therefore, on behalf of our governor making a request to your committee as you get back to Abuja, it is important the Federal Government takes up the challenges especially the Presidential taskforce on COVID-19. If they are spending money on advertisement, media and publicity, it is important they spend money on building isolation centres in the reformatory institutions.

"Secondly, we request your committee to inform the Federal Government about the lean resources of the state can no longer carry all the visions and aspirations of our dear governor and government of Ebonyi State. We are asking for partnership, for the complimentary role of the Federal Government in the completion of those six blocks that are standing at the correctional centres in Abakaliki", he hinted. 

He, however, appreciated the committee for the visit and assured the state government's commitment to continue delivering dividends of democracy as he maintained that his administration is poised to give the state an international recognition both infrastructurally and in human development, asking the team to inspect the correctional centres in the state to attest to its current statue.

Meanwhile, the House Committe members have carried out their inspection in the centre and expressed readiness to elevate the dilapidated facilities in the area.

Their Chairman, Nwonu told journalists that the inspection was part of the Committee's oversight to assess facilities in all the six geopolitical zone in Nigeria.

He decried the way correctional centres in the country are congested, saying the Committee has taken records of all  the situations for appropriate actions.

"We have gone round here in Ebonyi State. We have identified some of the problems. We have seen that the capacity of the prison here is 300 inmates but what they have now are over 800 inmates.

"The kitchen, toilets, acquisition centre need to be uplifted. I have seen some of the inmates making shoes, sewing clothes, among others. We are going to look on our findings, requests and ensure that the facilities are upgraded.

"Plan for decongestion of the Correctional Service Centres is part of our inspection. We are taking records of all that are needed and they will be properly handled," he said.

Recall in his remark, the Comptroller, Nigerian Correctional Services, Ebonyi State Command, Boniface Ogbodo, commended the committee, and expressed worry over the nature of the facilities in the centre.

Post a Comment

Previous Post Next Post