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NCoS Criticizes Lagos CP for Comments on Custodial Centres

The Lagos State Command of the Nigerian Correctional Service (NCoS) has strongly criticized an allegation made by the state Commissioner of Police, Idowu Owohunwa, that custodial centers have become training grounds for hardened criminals.

In a statement issued by the command’s spokesperson, Rotimi Oladokun, NCoS described the comments by the police commissioner as unfortunate, misleading, and unprofessional. The statement emphasized that Owohunwa’s remarks did not reflect a proper understanding of the correctional system and failed to acknowledge the excellent and exceptional services provided by these facilities.

NCoS asserted that despite facing challenges related to congestion and overcrowding, their facilities have been committed to delivering access to justice by offering inmates treatment programs aimed at reformation, rehabilitation, and reintegration of offenders.

The statement also expressed regret over the misinterpretations in Owohunwa’s statement, highlighting that such comments could promote prejudice and discrimination against former inmates, potentially leading to unintended consequences and an increase in crime.

The NCoS further clarified its stance, stating that it has a zero-tolerance policy for unethical and unprofessional conduct among both staff and inmates, with appropriate sanctions in place for those found wanting.

The statement provided information about the positive efforts made by the NCoS, including formal and non-formal educational programs, vocational and entrepreneurial skills training, and partnerships with educational institutions and organizations to enhance the rehabilitation and reintegration of inmates.

Additionally, the NCoS emphasized its commitment to crime prevention and management, sharing actionable intelligence with other law enforcement agencies and maintaining security measures to deter jailbreaks, which ultimately enhances public safety and national security.

The statement called for mutual respect, synergy, and collaboration among law enforcement agencies to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of crime prevention and management efforts.

The controversy arose when Commissioner of Police Idowu Owohunwa criticized prison authorities for allegedly turning correctional centers into training grounds for hardened criminals during a report on suspects accused of robbing and killing Senator Solomon Adeola’s aide, Mr. Sanni Adeniyi, at the State Police Command Headquarters in Ikeja.

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