By Linda Ike
The Human Rights Lawyer, Femi Falana has dragged President Muhammadu Buhari, the National Assembly and the Controller General of the Correctional Service, to court over the recent attack by gunmen on the Kuje Correctional Center, Abuja.
The plaintiff in the suit marked: FHC/L/CS/1580/2022 and dated August 23, 2022, blamed the attack on the absence of necessary security and monitoring equipment at the Kuje Correctional Center.
Recalled that gunmen had on July 5, 2022 attacked the correctional facility in Kuje, federal capital territory (FCT), leading to the escape of over 600 inmates including 64 Suspected Boko Haram terrorists.
Falana who filled the suit at the Federal High Court Lagos, is seeking an order of court compelling the defendants to provide necessary security apparatus across correctional centers in the country in line with the law.
In a 12 paragraph affidavit deposed to in support of the suit, plaintiff submitted that investigations revealed “that the correctional facility was not equipped with close circuit televisions and other security monitoring devices that it ought to have been equipped with.”
Deponent of the affidavit, Mr Ayodele Aribisala, averred that, “The failure of the Federal Government to provide these security equipment amounted to a contravention of the provisions of the Nigerian Correctional Service Act 2019.”
Aribisala, claimed that the purpose of the legal action was to challenge the contravention and non-compliance of the above provision of the Nigerian Correctional Service Act by the Defendants.
Issues raised for determination including “Whether the defendants are not under a legal obligation to provide monitoring devices, close circuit television and other instruments of restraint at correctional centers in line with Section 28 (1) of the Nigerian Correctional Service Act.
“Whether the defendants are not under a legal obligation to establish and maintain a fully equipped armed squad, intelligence and at correctional centers in line with Section 28 (2) of the Nigerian Correctional Service Act.”
Counsel to the plaintiff, Mrs Funmi Falana, submitted that if the questions were answered in his favour, the court should declare, “that by virtue of Section 28 (1), (2) & (3) of the Nigerian Correctional Service Act, the defendants are under a legal obligation to provide monitoring devices to protect, control and safeguard correctional activities, including observatory towers, double perimeter walls, close circuit television, body scanners, e-monitoring devices, electrically activated alarm systems and other instruments of restraint.
He urged the court to make an order “directing the defendants to fully comply with the provisions of Section 28 (1), (2) & (3) of the Nigerian Correctional Service Act.