The Nigerian Correctional Service, Delta Command, says it has lifted embargo on the intake of new inmates, following the partial relapse of the lockdown occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The State Controller of the service, Mr. Friday Esezobor, made this known on Tuesday in Asaba when he paid a courtesy call on the state Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Peter Mrakpor.
Esezobor was accompanied on the visit by the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Justice, Mr. Daniel Momah, and other members of the State Committee for the Establishment of Temporary Isolation Centres.
He disclosed that intake of new inmates in the designated isolation centres at Ogwashi-Uku, Sapele and Agbor Custodial Centres began on Tuesday.
“Inmates will be admitted into the selected centres for the purpose of isolation for a period of 14 days at the end of which they will undergo the COVID-19 compulsory testing.
“The compulsory test will be carried out before the new inmates will be admitted into any of our custodian facility across the state.
“I want to thank Gov. Ifeanyi Okowa for the release of funds for the emergency renovation of the three isolation centres.
“The governor also helped with the provision of beddings as well as other COVID-19 prevention items to the facilities,” Esezobor said.
The state controller said the Police and the Department of Security Services (DSS) cells which had become emergency remand cells following the embargo, had been overstretched and overcrowded.
He added that the situation had compelled the police and the DSS authorities in the state to cry out to the Chief Judge of the State for intervention.
Esezobor said the chief judge intervened by setting up a committee to appraise the possibility of establishing temporary isolation centres for inmates, pending the relapse of the embargo.