The Controller General of the Nigerian Correctional Service (NCS), Ja’afaru Ahmed, has denied reports that it was planning arrest Fisayo Soyombo, an undercover journalist.
Naija News reports that Soyombo went undercover to track corruption in Nigeria’s criminal justice system and spent two weeks in detention — five days in a Police cell and eight as an inmate in Ikoyi Prison.
To experience the workings of the system in its raw state, Soyombo — adopting the pseudonym Ojo Olajumoke — feigned an offence for which he was arrested and detained in police custody, arraigned in court and eventually remanded in Prison.
Beginning from the moment of arrest by the Police to the point of release from prison, he uncovers drug abuse, sodomy, bribery, pimping and other vices in Ikoyi Prisons.
Reacting in a statement on Tuesday, Ja’afaru Ahmed insisted that there were no plans to arrest or harass Soyombo over his investigation.
“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.
“He therefore 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,” he added.
Speaking further, the Controller General of the NCS confirmed that a panel has been set up to probe the Ikoyi Prisons, now known as “Ikoyi Custodial Centre”.
He stated that those found guilty of the allegations would be punished.
“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,” the statement read.