Media Adviser to the Minister of Interior, Mr Sola Fasure has faulted reports in some sections of the media quoting him as saying that state governments lacked the power to support the Nigeria Correctional Service (NCoS) and its custodial facilities in each state with critically needed infrastructure and offer other help.
Following the jail break at Abolongo custodial facility, some reports in the media had claimed that the Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, had advised Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State, to jettison the idea of installing security cameras at the Abolongo facility.
The reports attributed the claim to an interview granted to a radio station in Ibadan, Oyo State by Fasure.
Setting the records straight, Fasure said: My attention has been drawn to a statement circulating in the media stating that the Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, has rebuffed the Governor of Oyo State, and by implication, other State Governors not to install critically needed infrastructure and offer other support to the Nigeria Correctional Service (NCoS) and its custodial facilities in each state.
“My comments were taken out of context from a telephone interview granted to a radio station in Ibadan on Monday, concerning the unconscionable attack on the custodial centre in Abolongo, Oyo State. I did not speak to any newspaper and did not issue any statement from which the views credited to me could have been extracted. The various newspaper reports ascribed to me are therefore mere projections of the fancies of the authors anchored on the radio interview.”
Contrary to the reports, Fasure said in the interview, he restated the Minister’s earlier request to state governments to build holding centres for awaiting trial inmates who constitute more than 70 per cent of inmates at the custodial centres, adding that he also made it clear that the Federal Government will appreciate any assistance from the State Governments that will complement the ongoing infrastructure upgrade at the various custodial centres.
“It is unfortunate that some mischief makers who thrive on pitching public functionaries against each other decided to twist my answers to the different questions asked by the interviewer.
“For the avoidance of doubt, the Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, enjoins all state governments and other critical stakeholders to support the Ministry and the NCoS, in improving the administration of criminal justice in the country and by extension, infrastructural facilities to be used in reforming and rehabilitating deviants.
“The NCoS stands at the end of a long line in the administration of criminal justice system. It is a critical and essential element in keeping those the courts directed must be kept away from our society. Though more than 90 per cent of those currently in our facilities are state offenders and suspects, the Federal Government have been solely responsible for their safe keep and welfare. The State and Local Governments, the private sector and other critical stakeholders are enjoined to support the NCoS in carrying out this critical national assignment,” Fasure said.