By Ibironke Ariyo
The Nigerian Correctional Service (NCoS) has dismissed an online report accusing its officers of extorting money before admitting remanded suspects in custody.
This is contained in a statement signed by the Service Public Relations Officer, Mr Umar Abubakar, on Thursday in Abuja.
Abubakar described the report as unfounded, malicious and untrue, urging the public to disregard it.
“The attention of the NCoS has been drawn to a report making the rounds in which a senior police officer accused some correctional officials of extorting money before admitting remanded suspects in custody.
“The report cannot be true, as it is best described as a talk show.
“Suspects are usually escorted from the courts to the custodial facilities by officials of the prosecuting agencies, under whose watch, such admissions are done.
“The process of admission into a custodial facility starts immediately the suspect is presented by the official with an accompanying detention warrant from a court of competent jurisdiction.
“Obviously, it is not practicable to extort money from suspects before admitting them as the report claims’’, he said.
Abubakar called on journalists to seek clarification from the service on contentious matters before publication to avoid misleading the public.
He said that the service would not tolerate falsehood and concoction of news to spread lies and unfounded information, just to mislead the general public.
The spokesman added that all offenders, whether remanded or convicted by courts, were always admitted without any inducement.
“The power to remand a suspect in custody lies in the courts, and the service would not renege to play its part in the administration of criminal justice,’’ he said.
Umar quoted the Controller General, NCoS, Mr Haliru Nababa, as enjoining the public to continue to support the service in her quest to ensure safe and humane custody of inmates.
Nababa reiterated commitment to inmates’ reformation, rehabilitation and reintegration into the society. (NAN).