By Omeiza Ajayi, Abuja

The Federal Government has set up a Joint Taskforce of paramilitary services within the Ministry of Interior to provide fool-proof security for the nation’s custodial centres which have come under heightened attacks by terrorists in the last two years.

“The task force is expected to combine with the officers and men of the Nigerian Armed forces and the Nigeria Police Force that are already deployed to support corrections armed squad in guarding custodial centres”, said CC Francis Enobore, spokesman of the Nigeria Correctional Service NCoS.

According to him, the Controller General of Corrections, CGC Haliru Nababa, had initiated a high level discussion with his counterparts in the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps NSCDC and the Nigeria Immigration Service NIS on ways to strengthen security around Custodial centres across the Country.

“The meeting which held at the National Headquarters of the Nigerian Correctional Service (NCoS) on Friday 17th December 2021, centered on strengthening intelligence gathering and sharing of same among security operatives to nip attacks in the bud. The synergy will also include immediate inauguration of a Joint Taskforce of armed personnel comprising the three arm bearing agencies under the Ministry of Interior,” Enobore stated.

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The Commandant General of the NSCDC, Dr Abubakar Audi in his comments, 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 actualization of criminal justice dispensation in Nigeria.

He also called for regular meetings and more investments   in intelligence gathering to help forestall armed invasion of facilities and other criminal activities in the future.

Acting Comptroller General of Immigration, Idris Jere on his part noted that the NIS is poised to activate the data of escapees in all the entry and exit points that are 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 will replace the present operational system and among other things, make escapes and jail attacks difficult.

Jere stressed the importance of organizing a common front to challenge the misguided activities of armed criminals and expressed confidence that they will be conquered in no distant time.

Vanguard recalls that the Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola on 9th December, 2021 during the ministerial retreat held in Ilorin, Kwara State, 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 is to challenge the authority and test the might of the Federal government therefore, must not be allowed to live to tell their story.

In a related development, the CGC had on Thursday 16th December, 2021 visited the Director General and Chief Executive Officer of the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) Engr. Aliyu Azeez Abubakar to finalize the process of red-flagging fleeing inmates through the harmonization and sharing of inmates data already captured by NIMC, in online transactions.

“Custodial Centres in Nigeria have since October, 2020 during the ill-fated #EndSARS protest witnessed six (6) attacks in different parts of the country where corrections officers and some members of other security agencies, including inmates lost dear lives and many criminals released into the society”, Enobore disclosed.

VANGUARD NEWS NIGERIA

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