MINISTER of Interior Rauf Aregbesola has directed the Nigerian Correctional Service (NCoS) to go after fleeing inmates and ensure they are all recaptured.
The minister gave the marching order at a retreat for senior officers of the NCoS in Sokoto on Monday.
Aregbesola also directed the Correctional Service to capture the DNA of inmates in all the custodial centres in the country for identification purposes.
“In our desire to have greater control and ease the recapture of escaped inmates, it is very important to also have their DNA the moment they come into your care. The usefulness of this is more than recapturing escaped inmates. DNA will give you a near-absolute certainty on the identity of the inmates in your care, 99.99999 per cent, according to the experts,” he said.
While Aregbesola noted that the freedom of the fleeing inmates is dangerous to the society, he asked the NCoS to take all necessary measures to get them back to the correctional facilities.
The minister said, “If you need to create a special unit, please do. You must make life difficult for them out there. I am directing you that you must take DNA of everyone in custody now. If we have not developed the capacity of our personnel to do so, we will.
“We must fashion out strategies to recapture them. We must use technology to capture these inmates, let us use everything we can, let the world knows we are committed.”
Speaking on the attacks on correctional facilities, the NCoS Controller-General, Haliru Nababa, lamented the poor state of the centres.
He disclosed that the correctional centres have been overstretched, noting that the current capacity of the 244 facilities of the Service should accommodate 58,278 as against the population of 75,000 inmates currently occupying them.
“Drawing from the above, the NCoS has taken measures that will forestall future attacks such as the formation and activation of the Rapid Response Team, initiate more intelligence sharing with other security agencies, the sensitization and encouragement of State governments to implement non-custodial measures as well as the scaling up of the capacity of Armed Squad and Intelligence personnel on the use if high calibre weaponry and intelligence gathering,” Nababa said.