By Cyril Mbah, Abuja
The comptroller general of Nigeria Prison Service, [NPS] Ja’afaru Ahmed has stated that detainees and staff of the service will not be allowed to peddle or use hard drugs in the numerous detention centres in the country saying that adequate measures have been put in place to detect those involved in such nefarious activities.
Ahmed, who made the declaration while addressing a sensitisation workshop against drugs use organised for prison staff and some inmates in Abuja said the prison high command discovered that unscrupulous staff deliberately compromise prison security by supplying hard drugs to detainees.
He recalled that recently three gullible junior prison officers, who were allegedly caught smuggling prohibited substances capable of compromising security into the Prison yards, were summarily dismissed on the approval of the minister of interior, General Abdulrahman Dambazau.
Ahmed said the attitude of the affected officers namely Samaila Inusa, Jonathan Ibrahim and Adamu Jethro, will not be tolerated from other staff and he also reminded detainees that use of hard drugs including cigarettes creates severe health risks such as tuberculosis and other infectious diseases for inmates.
The prisons boss wondered why correctional officers who are trained to properly supervise inmates resort to secretly smuggling illicit items such as Indian hemp (cannabis), alcohol and other intoxicants daily into the prisons and sell to detainees for consumption.
He warned that the illegal business must stop henceforth and disclosed that disciplinary committees have been set-up in prison formations to deal summarily with officers found to be providing such drugs.
He said that apart from fueling indiscipline and creating health hazard among inmates, access to cannabis and other intoxicants have contributed to a number of prison riots and jailbreaks recorded in the past, thus jeopardizing security of lives and property of innocent personnel and peaceful inmates including the larger society. He warned incorrigible personnel who engage in the drug business that stiffer punishment which includes dismissal and prosecution awaits anyone found guilty of compromising standards and good conduct expected of a correctional officer.