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U. S. Lauds Nigeria Correctional Service

By Savinews Reporter-Abuja

U.S. Deputy Chief of Mission Kathleen FitzGibbons had applauded the efforts of the Nigerian Correctional Service towards implementing the 2019 Nigerian Correctional Service Act and recognizing the importance of the Act to ensure that justice is carried out in proportion to criminal offenses, contribute to the rehabilitation and reformation of offenders, and promote justice for the Nigerian society at large.

Speaking at a hand-over ceremony at the Nigerian Correctional Service, the U.S.Deputy Chief of Mission, said, through the Embassy’s office of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) the United States has provided support to the Nigerian government to ensure effective implementation of the Act, and strengthening of rule of law in Nigeria.

The support includes educating the public about the new Act through printed posters and billboards for each State Command to ensure the public is aware about the service the State Commands provide under the new Act, and assisting the Correctional Service to develop a database for inmates awaiting trial, which helps to reduce overcrowding and ensure speedy judicial processing.

FitzGibbons also said based on their support, working with implementers Partners Global, Partners West Africa, and the Network of University Legal Aid Institutions, the Correctional Service took the initiative to develop the Correctional Information Management Systems (CIMS) which was first implemented in Kuje prison, and has now been expanded to assist administrative processing of detainees and inmates in multiple facilities, including Ogun and Nasarawa States with INL support.

She stressed that under the “Reforming Pretrial Detention in Nigeria” project, funded by INL, Partners Global with Nigeria-based Network of University Legal Aid Network (NULAI) has implemented  a U.S.-Nigeria Virtual Exchange for Legal Aid Clinic to explore national and international norms of criminal procedure and law adding that recognizing effective criminal procedure requires continued legal education and professional development for the many professionals dedicated to strengthening the rule of law, INL supported a series of trainings in recent months implemented by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).  UNODC hosted training sessions for defense attorneys, prosecutors, judges and police officers in North East and North Central Nigeria to emphasize best practices in securing a crime scene, designing and implementing evidentiary handling procedure, and maintaining evidentiary integrity.

The U.S. Deputy Chief of Mission, reiterated that the United States remains committed to delivering tools and assistance which serves to strengthen the rule of law for all Nigerians, from arrest and detention, through trials and reform and a safe reintegration to the community.



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