Prisons boss denies plans to arrest Soyombo over damning report

The Controller General of the Nigerian Correctional Service, Ja’afaru Ahmed, has said the Service has no intention of arresting or harassing an investigative journalist, Fisayo Soyombo, over his undercover report exposing criminal activities at the Ikoyi prison.

According to a statement by the Public Relations Officer of the Service, Francis Enobore, the CG made the clarification in his office in Abuja after reports emerge that security operatives were hunting for Soyombo.

Soyombo triggered a flood of reactions when he exposed rot in the prison in his three-part undercover report where he posed as an offender and spent five days in a police cell and eight as an inmate in Ikoyi Prison.

On Tuesday, Soyombo confirmed that he has gone into hiding as he was being hunted by security operatives after he released the second part of the report on Monday.

Refuting the claim, the CG called for more constructive engagement with the media and the general public with a view to strengthening the implementation of the Nigerian Correctional Service Act, 2019.

Ja’afaru has, however, set up a panel to commence immediate investigations into the matter in order to bring the culprits to book if found guilty of the allegations.

The statement read:

“The attention of the Nigerian Correctional Service has been drawn to a publication by The Radar Online Medium containing allegations of drug abuse, sodomy, bribery, pimping and cash and carry operations in Ikoyi Custodial Centre, Lagos.

“In view of the gravity of the allegations, the Controller General, Ja’afaru Ahmed has set up a high powered panel to immediately commence full investigations into the matter in order to establish the authenticity of the report, identify and bring the culprits to book if found guilty of the allegations.

“The CG who gave the directive in his office in Abuja today stated that the Service is willing to work with the general public as well as relevant stakeholders in the justice sector to actualize the policy objectives of transforming the Nigerian Correctional Service (NCoS) into a modern reformatory institution that operates in line with best international practices.

“He noted that investigative journalists are partners, who seek the development of the nation, and called for more of such findings aimed at reforming the institution for better service delivery.”

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