NHRC begins 2022 audit of correctional centres

 The National Human Rights Commission  (NHRC) on Thursday flagged off the 2022 Correctional Centre Audit to ascertain compliance with international best practices.

The Chairperson of the Commission, Dr Salamatu Suleiman, led the Commission’s delegation to the headquarters of the Nigerian Correctional Service (NCS) where the event took place.

She said that inmates were entitled to general human rights such as good health.

“It is worthy of note that inmates in custodial facilities are entitled to enjoy general human rights, including the right to good health pursuant to international human rights standards or best practices.

“The welfare and access to medical care for all inmates cannot be over emphasised, giving the importance of healthcare to citizens, particularly the vulnerable inmates,” she said.

Suleiman called on the NCS to give NHRC officials and the medical team of Gift Health Plus, the maximum cooperation needed.

She said that it was important to make sure that the medical outreach during the 2022 audit of correctional centres across the country was a successful one.

The Controller-General of NCS, Haliru Nababa, represented by
Deputy Controller-General of Corrections (Covering Duties) Health and Welfare, Marylaurine Melchizedek, commended the visitors.

He commended the NHRC and Gift Health Plus for donating the medical items to the Service, saying that comprehensive and efficient health care was essential to every citizen, especially those in detention.

He noted that relevant Section of the Nigerian Constitution and the UN Sustainable Development Goal (SDG), particularly in goal 3 stressed the welfare and security of citizens as the primary purpose of government.

He added that good health was central in the said provisions above.

“The NCS has lived up to its mandate to provide safe and legal custody to inmates so as to ensure their physical and mental well-being are well taken care of.

“In spite of our lean resources and excruciating circumstances, we have great consideration to health of the inmates,” he said.

Similarly, the Executive Director, Gift Health Plus Inc, Chamberlain Nwanne, said that his organisation would continue to work together with the NHRC and NCS to impact positively on the rights of inmates across Nigeria.

Gift Health Plus Inc is a US based non-governmental organization.

Nwanne said that his organisation had found dependable partners in the NHRC and the NCS.

Items donated were1,000 reading glasses and 500 prenatal drugs by the commission for onward distribution to inmates across the nation.

Nwanne said that the eyeglasses and prenatal drugs were targeted at meeting some of the health needs of those in detention facilities, as a measure to further protect their right to health.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that a similar exercise was carried out by the commission in Feb. 21, 2022, at Life Camp Police Command.

The Executive Secretary of the Commission, Mr Tony Ojukwu (SAN), said it was the commission’s mandate.

“To carry out periodic audit of places of detention across the country toward ensuring that practices in the detention facilities conform to human rights standards.

“The focus of this exercise is Police Detention Centres.

“However, the National Human Rights Commission also carries out periodic audit of other places of detention in line with its mandate.

“The outcome of these exercises in the past had led to far-reaching reforms and policies in institutions like the Nigeria Correctional Services and the Nigeria Police Force,” he said. (NAN)

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