The Nigerian Prisons Service (NPS) says human element, infrastructural gaps and aggression by inmates are some factors that account for jail breaks in prisons across the country.
The prisons’ spokesperson, Francis Enobore, disclosed this in an interview with News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Thursday in Abuja.
Mr Enobore admitted that the preponderance of jail breaks in the country was worrisome, adding that the identified elements, including congestion, were responsible for the trend.
“It is true that Nigeria has recorded ugly incidents of jail-breaks. The facts have remained obvious following the scenario where prisons house inmates far beyond their capacities.
“For instance, Port Harcourt Prison was built for 800 inmates, but right now, we have nothing less than 4, 000 inmates in the prison.
“It became evident also where convicted inmates are mixed up with the Awaiting Trial Persons (ATP) that account for about 70 per cent within the prison facility,’’ he said.
He said that the situation had made the system to lose values and grow hardened inmates who pose serious threat to national security.
“With such scenario, disturbances and tension become natural and inevitable within the prison facility,” Mr Enobore said.
He disclosed that the Controller-General of Prisons, Ja‘afaru Ahmed, had ordered the renovation, expansion and construction of facilities, including cells, offices and hostels in the prisons to create enabling environment.
According to him, this will enable officers and men discharge their duties effectively and also meet up with global practice and curb the menace if jail breaks.
“The controller-general had observed that only motivated staff would ensure that such incidents never occur again. He resorted to promoting 14,592 officers and men to boost their moral.
“As I speak, 75 different infrastructural projects are going on to ensure such ugly incident jail-break does not occur again.
”Some of the projects have been completed and others are still under construction,” he said.
The spokesperson noted that manpower deficit in the service had been addressed by the current administration.
“The request of the CGP was granted to recruit over 6,000 personnel into the service to add value to the security architecture as well as promote excellence in the service,” he said.
He assured that the service would not relent in ensuring that the prison “becomes a full correctional system and suitable for prisoners to learn and become useful to the society’’.
He urged the public, including corporate organisations, to invest in prisons, especially in the provision of quality facilities.
Court Convicts Former NIMASA DG, Obi over N136million Fraud
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on Thursday, May 23, 2019, secured the conviction of a former acting Director-General, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, Callistus Obi. Also convicted was Alu Dimas, an aide to Patrick Akpobolokemi, a former Director-General of NIMASA. They were convicted by Justice Mojisola Olatoregun of the Federal High Court sitting in Ikoyi.
The duo were arraigned alongside two companies, Grand Pact Limited and Global Sea Investment, on April 12, 2016 on an eight-count charge bordering on conspiracy, conversion, and money laundering to the tune of N136million (One Hundred and Thirty Six Million Naira).
The prosecution proved that the convicts converted the sum of money, N136million, belonging to the Agency to their personal use on August 5, 2014.
One of the counts reads: “That you, Callistus Nwabueze Obi and Dismas Alu Adoon, on or about the 5th day of August 2014, in Lagos within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, did conspire amongst yourselves to commit an offence to wit: Conversion of the sums of N111, 000, 000.00 (One Hundred and Eleven Million naira) property of NIMASA, knowing that the said sums were proceeds of stealing, and thereby commited an offence.”
The defendants pleaded not guilty to the charge preferred against them, thereby leading to their trial.
In the cause of the trial, the prosecution called eight witnesses and tendered several documents, which were admitted in evidence by the court.
At the resumed hearing today, Justice Olatoregun discharged and acquitted the defendants of the charge of conspiracy preferred against them.
The Judge, however, convicted them of conversion and money laundering.
The Judge said: “The prosecution has proved the charges preferred against you beyond reasonable doubt with evident conversion and money laundering of N136million”.
Justice Olatoregun, however, deferred sentencing to May 28, 2019 and ordered that the convicts be remanded in prison custody.
Zenith Bank Emerges First Nigerian Bank To Repeatedly Audit Its Carbon Emissions
Zenith Bank Plc was presented with a Certificate for Greenhouse Gas Auditing by V4 Advisors after a successful completion of the Bank’s Greenhouse Gas Audit for the 2018 Financial Year. The presentation of the certificate and the report of the Auditors was done by V4 Advisors at the Zenith Bank Head Office on May 21, 2019.
The Executive Director, Dr. Temitope Fasoranti, who received the certificate on behalf of the Bank said the Bank started this effort with the 2016 Financial Year and has carried out three greenhouse gas audits to date. He explained that the Bank understands the relationship between greenhouse gas emission and climate change and appreciates the role it is expected to play towards combating the menace of climate change.
Also speaking on the milestone, the Country Manager, Lynsey Elston highlighted that Zenith Bank is the first Nigerian bank to consecutively report the carbon emissions of their Head Office in Lagos using a certified tool which is built on the internationally recognized “GHG Protocol”.
She commended the bank for proving its commitment to United Nations Global Compact (UNGC) Goal 13, Climate Action, in addition to complying with Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) Standards.” In response to her, the Executive Director said the initiative has significantly helped the bank reduce its overall carbon footprints and drive energy efficiency.
V4 Advisors is a UAE-based provider of advisory and consulting solutions on climate change and greenhouse gas emissions. The firm’s calculation and reporting tool has been reviewed by the World Resources Institute (WRI) for conformance with the GHG Protocol Corporate Standard.
Senate okays bill seeking to upgrade Yabatech to varsity status
The Senate, on Thursday, passed the City University of Technology (Est, etc) Yaba Bill, 2018 for second reading.
The decision followed a motion by Sen. Gbenga Ashafa (APC-Lagos) at the plenary presided over by Senate President, Bukola Saraki in Abuja.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the bill essentially sought to transform the Yaba College Technology (YabaTech) in Lagos State, to the City University of Technology Yaba.
Leading the debate, Ashafa, who represents Lagos East Senatorial District, argued that if the bill is considered, it would enhance the capability of the institution to achieve its objectives.
”Nigeria’s steady march towards education for all in the shortest possible time has taken a giant leap with the introduction of this bill.
”I am personally excited by the prospect of transforming this polytechnic to a university of technology because it will motivate both students and academic staff.
”It will also upgrade the facilities and enhance it capability to achieve its objectives.
”Similarly, the new university of technology will encourage the advancement of learning and hold out to all persons without distinction of race, creed, sex or political conviction the opportunity of acquiring a higher and liberal education,” he said.
Citing instances, the lawmaker noted that in similar circumstances in the United Kingdom, most of the polytechnics were upgraded to universities.
”If Nigeria has plan to become one of the world’s leading economies as currently being pursued by government, we must be ready to adjust and position our educational institutions so that its products are geared for the technological challenges inherent in such projections,” he said.
According to him, the attainment of university status would definitely enhance the operations of the Yaba Polytechnic and clarify its mission and vision.
Lawmakers, who contributed to the motion, also supported it.
When the motion was put on a voice vote, it was unanimously adopted by the legislators.
Saraki, therefore, referred the bill to Senate Committee on Tertiary Institutions and TETFUND for further legislative action and report back within a week.
Similarly, the Senate also passed a Bill for the Establishment of Federal Polytechnic Iwerekun, Ibeju-Lekki Lagos, sponsored by Ashafa for second reading.
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