The Controller of Correctional Service, Lagos State Command, Mr Adewale Adebisi, on Tuesday called for a robust security network in custodial centres in the state.
Adebisi made the call while playing host to the Board of the Legal Aid Council of Nigeria (LACON).
The controller said that repeated attacks in custodial centres across the nation, with the most recent in Kabba, called for a more effective security architecture to safeguard workers and inmates.
The board was on a two-day working visit to the state for the purposes of its 121st meeting.
The visit was also and in fulfilment of the council’s statutory responsibilities.
The controller thanked the board for helping to secure freedom for indigent inmates.
According to him, custodial centres in the state have a capacity of about 3,000 inmates but currently have above 8,000 inmates.
He thanked the council for always coming to the rescue of poor inmates.
“The Nigeria Correctional Service and the Legal Aid Council are like twins, and our functions are interwoven because they centre on inmates.
“Legal Aid Council has helped to train some of inmates in the National Open University where we graduated some of them recently.
” I hope this visit will further cement our relationship so that we can achieve greater results for humanity, ” he said.
According to him, repeated attacks on prisons have become too worrisome and calls for a strengthened security structure.
“The acts of terrorism that we are experiencing have gone higher.
“I think those of us in custodial centres should be able to build up our own capacities in terms of human resources and armament.
“If what happened in Owerri could repeat itself in Kabba, who knows where next; If such happens in Lagos, where do we run to?
But if we are equipped to counter such insurgency, it will help our society better,” he said.
As part of the working visit, the board members converged at the Ikoyi Custodial Centre to put in place modalities to secure release of some inmates.
The Director-General of the council, Mr Aliyu Abubakar, had during the visit, expressed gratitude to the controller for a cordial relationship between the Legal Aid Council and the correctional service in Lagos State.
He, however, noted expressed dissatisfaction that there was still increased number of awaiting trial inmates in the state.
He informed the command that the Lagos Office of the council would perfect arrangements for identifying inmates for which requisite fines would be paid to secure their release.
“We implore you to continue to give us the neccessary support so that we can do our job as we are all in the business of assisting poor and indigent Nigerians
“As part of our statutory activities, we intend to pay some fines for some of the convicted inmates and get them released.
“We hope that we continue to have a good relationship going forward,” he said.
Others present during visit include the Chairman of the Board of Legal Aid Council, Mr Suraj Sae’da (SAN), and South West Zonal Director of the council, Mrs Latifat Salau.