Stakeholders must work together for development of Correctional Service Act – Malami - NEWS EXTRA ONLINE

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Tuesday, 26 November 2019

Stakeholders must work together for development of Correctional Service Act – Malami





Abuja, Nov.25, 2019 Mr Abubakar Malami, the Attorney General and Minister of Justice has called on stakeholders to work together towards the development of a strategic Action Plan to support the deployment of non-custodial services as provided by the Correctional Service Act

Malami made the call on Monday in Abuja at a three-day strategic workshop for the `Effective Implementation of the Nigerian Correctional Service Act, 2019′.

The workshop is hosted by the Office of the Attorney-General of the Federation in collaboration with the Presidential Committee on Correctional Service and Reform, and the Nigerian Correctional Service.

He said that the aim of the workshop is to sensitise stakeholders, especially Justice Sector Institutions, on the salient provisions of the Act and to come up with a road map for the effective implementation of the provisions of the Act on non-custodial measures.

The Minister said the Act repealed the Prisons Act, Cap P29, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004 and provides the legal and institutional framework for emerging Nigerian Correctional Service.

“The provisions of the Act have been adjudged to be comprehensive and in compliance with International Human Rights Standards and good correctional practices.

“It provides for the rights of Correctional Centres and enabling rules for the Implementation of Non-Custodial Measures, as well as the establishment of institutional systematic and sustainable mechanisms to address the cases of the ever increasing number of Awaiting Trial inmates.

“The workshop provides a veritable platform for the overview and comparative analysis of the Correctional Service Act, 2019.

The Minister said that the signing into law the Correctional Service Act, 2019 was a major turning point in Prisons Reform and Justice Sector delivery in Nigeria.

“This marks another milestone in our national Strategies deployed towards urgently decongesting the prisons.

“The act has some innovative provisions which address some major issues that have been of concern to stakeholders in the Justice sector.

“It will ensure compliance with international human rights standards and good correctional practices and provide an enabling platform for implementation of non-custodial measures.

“This will enhance the focus on corrections and promotion of reformation, rehabilitation and reintegration of offenders as provided by the Act.”

He said the act will enhance the focus on corrections and promotion of reformation, rehabilitation and reintegration of offenders.

He said it will enhance the establishment of institutional, systemic and sustainable mechanisms to address the high number of persons awaiting trial.

Justice Ishaq Bello, the Chief Judge of the FCT High Court, in his remarks said that the purpose of the Workshop was to sensitise stakeholders on the provisions of the Act particularly the provisions on non-custodial services which was newly introduced.

According to Bello, `the Workshop will provide a veritable platform for the overview and comparative analysis of the Correctional Service Act, 2019.

“The intention of the workshop is to bring out the salient issues and chart a road map for a better Nigeria Correctional service.

“It will lead to a radical departure in our justice delivery.”

He said the Act is a restoration justice which is the bedrock for the administration of criminal justice in Nigeria.

“The Act is important because it is going to bring about new orientation to the correctional service that will provide alternative centres for inmates.

“It will ensure compliance with international human rights standards and good correctional practices and provide an enabling platform for implementation of non-custodial measures.

“It will also enhance the focus on corrections and promotion of reformation, rehabilitation and reintegration of offenders and establish institutional, systemic and sustainable mechanisms to address the high number of persons awaiting trial,’’

Ja’afaru Ahmed, the Controller-General, Nigerian Correctional Service (NCS) said the accent to the act by President Muhammadu Buhari, was the best thing that has happened to the service.

He said the Service is ready to collaborate with all stakeholders to make the act fruitful.

“We are open to collaboration that will lead to the development of the non-custodial services as provided under the Act.

“The collaboration will comprise short, medium- and long-term measures that will create the requisite social awareness of the non-custodial services.”

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