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‘It’s Treasonable’: Minister Decries Prison Officials’ Alleged Collusion With Terrorists

Nigeria's Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), General Christopher Musa, had accused some officials of the Nigerian Correctional Service (NCoS) of conniving with inmates to finance the operations of terrorists.


[FILE] Nigerian Correctional Service (NCoS) officials carrying inmates to court in Abuja. Photo: Sodiq Adelakun/Channels TV

 

The Federal Government has vowed to probe allegations of prison officials colluding with terrorists in the North-Eastern part of the country, saying the accusations are “despicable”.

Nigeria’s Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), General Christopher Musa, had accused some officials of the Nigerian Correctional Service (NCoS) of conniving with inmates to finance the operations of terrorists.

About a week after the claims, the Minister of Interior, Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo, described them as “treasonable”.

“It is treasonable as far as I am concerned. You cannot be an officer of government and you swore an oath to protect the integrity of this country and compromise it by conniving with terrorists. That will be despicable and unacceptable,” he said on Monday’s edition of Channels Television’s Politics Today.

“It is out of this world. It is not something I can even imagine in my head that an officer of the law will go as low as conniving with terrorists to attack the nation. That is a treasonable offence.

“That can never under any guise or condition be swept under the carpet. It is a serious allegation. Be rest assured that in the interest of Nigerians, for somebody to undermine the security of this country, it is a treasonable thing.”

‘What is the Justification?’

The minister also highlighted the government’s efforts in decongesting the prisons nationwide, saying the daily cost of inmates is N3 million.

With 80,804 inmates in 253 custodial facilities, Tunji-Ojo stated that feeding the inmates takes a chunk of money from the Federal Government’s purse.

“So, before you go on, let me say this. You look at the economy of scale. To feed these 4,068 inmates costs the government about N3 million a day. Multiply N3 million a day by 365 days,” he added.

“It means we raised N585 million from the private sector to offset these fines and compensations to save the government of average of N1.1 billion per annum in feeding. That’s just the economy of scale,” he added.

“So, to me, what is the justification behind feeding somebody with N1.1 billion why holding him for N585 million, especially when that N585 million isn’t coming from the government?”