Godsgift Onyedinefu and John Anyim
The Prisoners Rehabilitation and Welfare Action (PRAWA) has called on the Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), traditional rulers, and other stakeholders to support the Nigeria Correctional Service (NCoS) in the effective implementation of non custodial measures and consequently decongest custodial centres across the country.
The Executive Director of PRAWA, Dr. Uju Agomoh, made this call on Wednesday at a One-Day Sensitization/Strategic Workshop for CSOs, NGOs, FBOs and Media practitioners on effective implementation of non custodial measures in Abuja.
She said that the essence of workshop is to sensitize the critical stakeholders, Civil Society Organisations (CSOs), Non Govermental Organizations (NGOs), traditional rulers and media practitioners to understand how they can support the work that has been done in relation to non custodial measures.
“We know that you cannot effectively implement community non custodial measures which is like sanctions you can give people in the community rather than taking them in the custodial service but we cannot do it effectively if we leave it for the government or leave it for the Nigeria Correctional Service.
“So the CSOs, NGOs, Traditional Rulers, and media practitioners should joins hands with the Correctional Service for the full effective implementation of non custodial measures,” she said.
According to her, PRAWA had on Monday this week organized a one day workshop on same effective implementation of non custodial measures with stakeholders and goverment agencies.
The Controller General of Nigeria Correctional Service Jafaru Ahmed represented by DCG Tunde Ladipo , DCG. C/D Non custodial in his opening remarks thanked the President for signing the Act into law on the 31st of July 2019.
He discribed the Act as one the best thing that has happened in the country, as it has contributed greatly to Custodial decongestion.
Ahmed recalled that during the Nationwide Lockdown, Some persons were convicted to community service, using FCT command as an Example, he said about 24,000 persons were Convicted to community Service, explaining that the situation would have been out of hand if these convicted persons were being sent to custodial Facilities to serve their conviction, this he noted would have resulted to overcrowding of the Facility.
The CG Commended PRAWA and other NGOs that has supported the Nigeria Correctional service, He said their support will go a long way in helping the service meet up with global best practices.