Police accuse NCoS of collecting bribe from inmates

The Nigeria Police has accused some personnel of the Nigerian Correctional Service (NCoS), of collecting bribes ranging from N10,000 to N20,000 or more before admitting inmates.

Police accuse NCoS of collecting bribe from inmates

The Police said the unprofessional conduct has become a consistent practice in the service for a long time.

This surfaced online on Monday, August 8, 2022, in a letter written by Ibrahim Zango, the Deputy Commissioner of Police in-charge of the Police Special Fraud Unit Ikoyi, Lagos.

The letter addressed to the Controller General of the Correctional Service read: "Some of the prison officials have been consistent in the unprofessional conduct, a practice that portrayed the correctional service in a bad light.

“The impunity with which personnel demand between N10,000 and N20,000 from relatives of suspects on Court remand before they can be received for remand portray the Nigeria Correctional Service in a bad light to members of the public and appears highly irrational.

"This wanton act has been severally reported by Officers of this Unit but I never took it to heart until they exhibited the same in my presence at the Federal High Court, Ikoyi – Lagos, and this was witnessed at Igbosere Court, Saka Tinubu, Lagos, and Ogba Magistrate Court, Lagos.

“As a measure to abate the above-premises act, I sincerely request that they should be called to order to avert further dent on the image of this government establishment", Zango said.

Responding, the Kuje Prison Spokesman, Chukwuedo Humphrey, described the accusation as laughable, saying the NCoS has never demanded any form of bribery from anyone before remanding an inmate.

Chukwuedo said the Service has a statutory criteria called "warrant", before accepting or releasing an inmate, of which money is not part of it.

"Mostly we demand for a Production or a release Warrant's. So if the Police is saying that we collect money from inmates before admitting them into our facilities, then on what basis do we collect money from, or is it the court that sent them to us that pays the money?", he said.

The Prison Spokesman described the warrant as an official document or an authority requesting the custodial center to either accept or release an inmate.

He said this was part of the reason the Kuje Prison could not release the former governor of Plateau State Joshua Dariye because there was no warrant from the presidency instructing the NCoS to set him free after granting him amnesty.

Chukwuedo however said since the accusation is coming from another sister agency, the Controller General of the Service will investigate the allegation and if there is any personnel found wanting, will surely be penalized.

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