The management of the Nigerian Correctional Service, NCoS, has said that it has succeeded in maintaining zero infection status of COVID-19 in its custodial centres across the country.
This was disclosed via a press release on Sunday, 20 February, 2022, by the Public Relations Officer (PRO) of the Service, O. F Enobore, while refuting claims that religious activities had been banned in its correctional facilities.
TheFact Nigeria reports that according to the Service, while custodial centres in some developed climes suffered under the weight of the pandemic, custodial centres in Nigeria were able to maintain zero infection among the inmates in spite of its overwhelming population phenomenon. This, Enobore stated, was made possible through strict adherence to various preventive measures.
Enobore further recalled that, through proactive and professional management of health issues amongst inmates, disease outbreaks like Ebola, Cerebral Spinal Meningitis (CSM) and Lassa Fever, among others, have been successfully prevented from entering custodial centres in Nigeria and “no inmate has been lost to any of these diseases”.
Regarding the reports making the rounds that religious activities had been banned in custodial centres, the NCoS spokesperson described them as unfounded, untrue and “a figment of the author’s imagination”, adding that the Service encourages all forms of genuine visits to inmates by relations and well meaning individuals and groups in order to promote psycho-social support, which is pivotal to reformation and rehabilitation of inmates.
Setting the records straight, the Service affirmed that visits to custodial centres were temporarily suspended in April 2020, in compliance with the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) COVID-19 protocols to prevent the dreaded pandemic from entering custodial centres.
According to Enobore, considering that the pandemic has not abated but continues to mutate, with the current virulent Omicron variant still uncaged, the Presidential Taskforce on COVID-19, in its wisdom, had advised the sustenance of preventive protocols which include, crowd control and strict monitoring of migration amongst others.
Consequently, the management of the NCoS is yet to relax the restriction on visits to custodial centres.
The statement further said that while the Controller General of Corrections, CGC, Haliru Nababa,
appreciates the cooperation of members of the public in complying with the preventive measures, he also assured that the health and complete well being of inmates in custody will continue to enjoy prime attention under his administration.
The Corrections boss prayed for an end to the pandemic, and further assured that all restrictions will be lifted as soon as advise to this effect is received from the appropriate authorities.