By John Ikani
The Nigerian Correctional Service (NCoS) has closed ranks with the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) and Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) authorities with a view to strengthen security at custodial facilities across the country.
The security partnership is coming against the backdrop of the series of armed attacks on the correctional facilities across the country and the escape of hundreds of inmates.
Heritage Times gathered that the security partnership was formed when the Controller General of the NCoS, Haliru Nababa, met with the Commandant General of the NSCDC, Abubakar Audi, and the Acting Comptroller General of the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS), Idris Jere on Friday.
A statement issued by the Service Public Relations Officer (SPRO) Mr Francis Enobore on Sunday in Abuja, quoted the Controller General, NCoS, Mr Haliru Nababa as saying that the meeting was centered on strengthening intelligence gathering and sharing of same among security operatives to nip attacks in the bud.
He recalled that the Minister of Interior, Mr Rauf Aregbesola had on Dec. 9 during the ministerial retreat held in Ilorin, Kwara, directed security agencies under the Ministry of Interior to work together as a family in the area of intelligence gathering, sharing and physical confrontation with jail attackers.
He described the perpetrators as common enemies whose main agenda was to challenge the authority and test the might of the Federal government therefore, must not be allowed to live to tell their story.
He said that the synergy would also include immediate inauguration of a Joint Taskforce of armed personnel comprising the three arm bearing agencies under the Ministry of Interior.
He also said that the task force was expected to combine with the officers and men of the Nigerian Armed forces and the Nigeria Police Force that were already deployed to support corrections armed squad in guarding custodial centres.
The statement said the NSCDC Commandant-General, Abubakar Audi, lauded the initiative and promised to task all state Commandants of his service to gear up for the onerous task of protecting custodial centres that are now designated as critical national infrastructure being the last agency in the actualisation of criminal justice dispensation.
He also called for regular meetings and more investment in intelligence gathering that could help forestall an armed invasion of facilities and other criminal activities in the future.
The acting Comptroller-General of Immigration, Idris Jere, in his contribution noted that the NIS would activate the data of escapees in all the entry and exit points that were manned by his personnel in other to strengthen the recapture process already initiated.
He commended the CGC for vigorously pursuing the deployment of technology which he noted would replace the current operational system and among other things, make escapes/jail attacks difficult.
He further stressed the importance of organising a common front to challenge the misguided activities of armed criminals and expressed the confidence that they would conquer soon.
Meanwhile, Nababa has visited the Director-General of the National Identity Management Commission, Aliyu Abubakar, to finalise the process of red-flagging fleeing inmates through the harmonisation and sharing of inmates data already captured by NIMC in online transactions.