Aftermath of CDS allegation: FG orders prison warders’ probe over Boko Haram inmate

Minister of Interior, Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo, has called for the immediate investigation of intelligence report on misconduct by some men of the Nigerian Correctional Service (NCoS).

In a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Alao Babatunde, in Abuja, he ordered the investigation while reacting to comments by the Chief of Defense Staff (CDS), Christopher Musa.

On Tuesday when he appeared before the House of Representatives Committee of the Whole to discuss Nigeria’s security challenges, the CDS had alleged that some personnel of the correctional service connived with inmates to finance the operations of proscribed terrorist groups. He added that some prison warders help the suspects move funds through their bank accounts.

“In the Northeast, when we were debriefing some of the arrested Boko Haram, they were able to tell us how, from the prison, they could plan operations out in the field. They pass funds across. They use some of the warders there. We are not saying all of them are corrupt. They use their accounts, and the deal is that anyone whose account is used, they share it 50/50.”

The defense chief said security is the business of all Nigerians, and the responsibility of keeping the country safe should not be left to the security agencies alone.

“We can never be everywhere. So, we need educational sensitization programmes for Nigerians to understand that security is everybody’s responsibility. What you see, you talk about it. You don’t just keep quiet and say that this is for the police or the army. Everybody has a role. We need to have a system where we can train from schools, from primary school, where Nigerians can be made to understand that they need to take ownership of security. The awareness will be made easier.”

In his reaction, Tunji-Ojo condemned the unpatriotic act and directed NCoS Controller General, Haliru Nababa, to investigate the disturbing allegation.

The minister, therefore, called for a speedy investigation into the matter with a view of unraveling the truth. He added that any officer culpable or complicit of sabotaging the service and by extension, the security of the country, would face the full wrath of the law.

Tunji-Ojo also assured the public that actions were underway to reform the service to match international standards where inmates would be truly rehabilitated.

This, he added, would be in line with the “Renewed Hope Agenda” of President Bola Tinubu.

“The era of talks but no action is over. The renewed hope administration will not entertain breach from any officer. We have the interest of the state to protect, and it is above anyone’s interest,” he said.


The minister also pledged to improve the welfare of paramilitary personnel, including seamless promotion and a new salary package.

He said the government had constituted a committee to end career stagnation in the services and ensure promotion process was not circumvented.

“We are working on the promotion exercise of personnel of all our paramilitary agencies, and in a couple of weeks, it will be out. We are doing this to bring the era of career stagnation to an end. People should enter the service with the anticipation that one day he or she can become the controller general. People should be able to earn their promotion as and when due without knowing anybody.”

He also said the government was working on new salary and allowances for the personnel.

“We are working on your peculiar allowance, and you can be assured of getting your entitlements soon.

“We are also working on the review of your salary. ‘As a board, we are working with the salaries and wages commission to ensure upward review of salaries of our paramilitary officers.

“We are working on the establishment of a paramilitary pension board so that in service and in retirement our men can know there is assurance of good life.”

The minister, who spoke during the inauguration of new uniform for men of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defense Corps, said he would provide the services with the right tools to deliver.

“As a government, we are putting in all that we can to ensure we provide and support our agencies with the right materials, and of course the right knowledge that is needed to deliver.

“We will continue to support you. We will continue to work on the welfare and training of our officers because it is paramount.

“And of course, we will continue to invest in you because we know that the dividend of our investment is enhanced security.”

He acknowledged their sacrifices to defend the nation against its enemies and assured them that their sacrifices would not be in vain.


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