By Chimezie Godfrey
The Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Aregbesola, has called on state governments and other stakeholders to support the Nigeria Correctional Service (NCoS) in tackling jail break across the country.
The Minister also dismissed a false statement circulating in the media that he rebuffed state governors’ offer to support NCoS in their states, adding that his comments were taken out of contest during an interview granted to a radio station at Ibadan recently.
This was made known in a statement signed by Sola Fasure the Media Adviser to the Minister.
Fasure state,”My attention has been drawn to a statement circulating in the media stating that the Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, has rebuffed the Governor of Oyo State, and by implication, other State Governors not to install critically needed infrastructure and offer other support to the Nigeria Correctional Service (NCoS) and its custodial facilities in each state.
“My comments were taken out of context from a telephone interview granted to a radio station in Ibadan on Monday, concerning the unconscionable attack on the custodial centre in Abolongo, Oyo, Oyo State. I did not speak to any newspaper and did not issue any statement from which the views credited to me could have been extracted. The various newspaper reports ascribed to me are therefore mere projections of the fancies of the authors anchored on the radio interview.
“In the interview, I restated the Minister’s earlier request to state governments to build holding centres for awaiting trial inmates who constitute more than 70 per cent of inmates at the custodial centres.
“I also made it clear that the Federal Government will appreciate any assistance from the State Governments that will complement the ongoing infrastructure upgrade at the various custodial centres.
“It is unfortunate that some mischief makers who thrive on pitching public functionaries against each other decided to twist my answers to the different questions asked by the interviewer.”
Fasure noted that the Minister has been the one calling on all state governments to support the Ministry and the NCoS, in improving the administration of criminal justice in the country.
“For the avoidance of doubt, the Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, enjoins all state governments and other critical stakeholders to support the Ministry and the NCoS, in improving the administration of criminal justice in the country and by extension, infrastructural facilities to be used in reforming and rehabilitating deviants.
“The NCoS stands at the end of a long line in the administration of criminal justice system. It is a critical and essential element in keeping those the courts directed must be kept away from our society. Though more than 90 per cent of those currently in our facilities are state offenders and suspects, the Federal Government have been solely responsible for their safe keep and welfare.
“The State & Local Governments, the private sector and other critical stakeholders are enjoined to support the NCoS in carrying out this critical national assignment,” he stated.