Nigerian Correctional Service (NCoS) on Saturday said the reason it appears female inmates are pampered against their male counterparts is because of their low numbers, explaining that out of a total 70,000 inmates across the country, women account for less than 1.5 per cent (1050).
Controller of Corrections and Public Relations Officer of NCoS, Mr Francis Enobore, said in a statement that the large number of male inmates is the reason there is overcrowding and chaos in the male custodial centres.
Dispelling rumours that the female custodial centres are pampered, the PRO said that the management of the centres are quite sensitive to the plight of victims and their families and will not indulge in anything that would undermine their wellbeing.
“It was also insinuated that male inmates were deliberately kept in squalor, compared to the female custodial centres generally adjudged to be exceptionally clean. It is no longer news that females account for less than 1.5 per cent of the total inmates’ population of about 70,000 in the country. Therefore, overcrowding and the attendant chaos are exclusively found in male custodial centres due to pressure on the infrastructure.
“The NCoS is quite sensitive to the plight of victims and their families and will never indulge in anything to undermine this. The Service believes that controlled social engagements do not interfere with trial of cases in court as activities within custodial centres have no bearing with evidence needed for cases to be tried.
The NCoS gave the details against the backdrop of bad blood generated by the report that a woman (Chidinma Ojukwu) who is facing trials for the murder of Usifo Ataga won a beauty contest while in the custody.
Ataga was the Chief Executive Officer of Super TV. The contest generated uproar across the country.
“While identifying with the Atagas in their moment of grief, the NCoS wishes to state, without equivocation, that it will do everything within its power to assist the course of justice in unveiling those behind the dastardly act” he said.