FG, UNODC To Collaborate Towards Reforming Correctional Service

By Anne Osemekeh, Abuja

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The Minister of Interior, Hon. Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo, has reiterated the need to partner with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) in upgrading the status of the Correctional Service.

According to the Ministry’s spokesperson, Ozoya Imohimi, in a statement on Wednesday, the minister made the call while playing host to the Country Representative, UNODC in Nigeria, Dr. Oliver Stolpe, who visited him in his office.

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TheFact Daily notes that addressing overcrowding and poor prison conditions which threaten human rights is priority to UNODC.

Dr. Tunji-Ojo, said he is poised to transform the Correctional Centres, to become correctional and reformative in nature and not destructive.

“It is important we implement the inmate audit project as soon as we can. Implementing the inmate audit is key towards actualizing our desire and plan for correctional service.

“These people are vulnerable because they don’t have freedom of choice. Correctional centres take the freedom of movement but retain your dignity as a citizen and as a human being. So while we want to retain the dignity of people; while we are restricting their access in terms of movement and interactions; we must also make sure that we don’t condemn them. We must make sure they are reformed from correctional centres to correctional homes”, the minister stated.

He expressed gratitude to UNODC for their interventions, and their efforts in the area of funding and technology.

“I do not want to leave as Minister of Interior with regrets in terms of correctional reforms; I want to leave, knowing that I did my best by giving life to the most vulnerable and that I did my best to ensure that the renewed hope agenda of Mr. President finds a suitable place in the correctional centres and correctional service in general”, Tunji-Ojo said.

Earlier, the UNODC Country Representative in Nigeria, Oliver Stolpe, said he was in the Ministry to update the Minister on the ongoing projects and to get his ideas towards the success of the projects.

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