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By our reporter
Lagos, Sept. 14, 2021
The Lagos State Controller of Correctional Service, Mr Adewale Adebisi, on Tuesday, in Lagos, called for a robust security network for the safety of custodial centres in the state.
Adebisi made the call while playing host to the Board of the Legal Aid Council of Nigeria (LACON) led by its Director-General, Mr Aliyu Abubakar.
He said that the repeated attacks in custodial centres across the nation, with the most recent in Kabba after the Owerri episode, now calls for effective security architecture, to safeguard staffs and inmates.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the council is on a two-day working visit to the state, for purposes of its 121st board meeting and in fulfilment of its statutory responsibilities.
As part of activities lined up by the council, the board converged at the Ikoyi correctional facility, for purposes of arranging modalities to secure the release of some inmates from custody
While expressing gratitude to the controller for an existing cordial relationship between the legal aid and the correctional centre, Abubakar noted with dismay that there still existed an alarming increase in the number of awaiting trial inmates.
He, consequently, informed the centre that the Lagos office of the legal aid will perfect arrangements for purposes of identifying inmates for which the requisite fines will be paid to secure their release.
"We implore you to continue to give us the neccessary support so that we can do our job as we are all in the business of assisting the poor and indigent Nigerians
"As part of our statutory activities we intend to pay some fines for some of the convicted inmates and get them released ,
"We hope that we continue to have a good relationship going forward.," he said
In response, the Lagos Controller thanked the board of LACON for their ever available support in helping to secure the freedom of indigent inmates
According to him, the correctional centres has a capacity of about 3000 inmates but currently has above 8000 inmates in its custodial centres.
He, thanked the council for always coming to the rescue of poor inmates.
"The Nigeria custodial centre and the legal aid are like twins and our functions are interwoven because it centres on convicted inmates.
"The legal aid has helped to train some of our inmates in the National Open University where we graduated some of them recently; I hope this visit will further cement our relationship so that we can achieve greater results for humanity, " he said
Meanwhile, Adebisi decried the recent attack by gunmen on the Kabba correctional centre in kogi state, where casualties were recorded.
According to him the repeated attacks on prisons are now too worrisome and calls for a strengthened and formidable security structure so as to safeguard the lives of staffs.
"The acts of terrorism that we are experiencing now, have gone higher than it used to be and I think those of us in custodial centres should be able to build up our own capacity in terms of human resources and armament .
"The indices we see now shows that we need to build up our effectively, otherwise we may over run our custodial centres
"If what happened in Owerri could repeat itself in kabba who knows where next; If such happens in Lagos where do we run to.
"But if we are equipped to counter such insurgency, I think it will help our society better" he said
NAN reports that other dignitaries at the visit include: the board Chairman of the legal Aid, Mr Suraj Sae'da (SAN), South West Zonal Director of the Legal Aid, Mrs Latifat Salau, Deputy Controller, Mr Adegboyega Aremu, Mrs Comfort Obiosio, and other members of the Council.
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