Falana sues F.G over Kuje Prison Attack

  • Femi Falana, a Human Rights Lawyer and Senior Advocate of Nigeria, has sued President Muhammad Buhari for his government’s failure to provide surveillance equipment, closed-circuit television (CCTV), and other means of enforcement in correctional facilities across the country.

Also joined as defendants in the suit are the National Assembly and the Controller General of the Nigerian Correctional Service.

The lawsuit relied on Section 28 (1) of the Nigerian Correctional Service Act.

According to court documents, the failure of the Buhari-led government to provide adequate security equipment was the cause of the attack on the Kuje Correctional Center in Abuja, the national capital, by members of the group; The Islamic State of West Africa (ISWAP) organization formerly known as Jamā`at Ahl as-Sunnah lid-Da`wah wa`l-Jihād.

ISWAP attacked the facility on July 5, 2022, freeing hundreds of inmates, including terrorists.

Some of the fugitives were recaptured, while others returned voluntarily. However, many of them are still on the run.

“That in July 2022, the Kuje Correctional Centre, F.C.T Abuja was attacked by terrorists who released over 600 inmates including 64 Boko Haram terrorists,” part of the court document read.”

“That upon investigations into the terrible attack, it was discovered that the correctional facility was not equipped with close circuit television and other security monitoring devices.”

“That the failure of the Federal Government to provide these security equipment amounts to a contravention of the provisions of Section 28 (1), (2) & (3)the Nigerian Correctional Service Act.”

“The Plaintiff having observed that this provision is not being complied with by the Defendants, has filed this Originating Summons seeking the reliefs set out herein.”

Falana also asked the court “under Section 28(1) of the Nigeria Correctional Services Act whether the defendant was not legally required to provide surveillance equipment, CCTV cameras, and other corrective restraint devices. asked to judge.

“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.”

In an affidavit by Ayodele Aribisala, an attorney at Farana’s law firm, the case said the head of the Nigerian Department of Corrections recognized the perforated nature of prison security.

It read, “That the 1st Defendant is the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces.

“The 2nd Defendant is the National Assembly constitutionally vested with lawmaking, representation and oversight function amongst others.

“The 3rd Defendant is the Controller-General of Correctional Service appointed by the 1st Defendant and has the power of general superintendence of the Correctional center including but not limited to the safety and humane custody of inmates.

“That I know as a fact that the Plaintiff has been involved in the defence and promotion of human rights in Africa for over three decades.

“That he assists appropriate and lawful agencies in maintaining law and order in the country.

“That on the 17th day of July 2022, at about 12:00 noon at our office situate at No. 25, Adekunle Fajuyi Way, Ikeja GRA, Lagos, I was informed by the Plaintiff in this matter, Mr. Femi Falana, SAN of the following facts, which I verily believed and still do believe, to wit: i. That Section 28 (1), (2) & (3) of the Nigerian Correctional Service Act provides:

“There shall be 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.

“The Correctional Service shall establish and maintain a fully equipped armed squad, intelligence and investigation unit to enhance security, surveillance, monitoring, intelligence gathering and protection.

“In deploying the facilities under subsection (1), priority shall be given to the security requirements of maximum security custodial centers.”

“That in July 2022, the Kuje Correctional Centre was attacked by terrorists who released over 600 inmates including 64 boko haram terrorists.

“That upon investigations into the uncanny and terrible attack, it was discovered that the correctional facility was not equipped with close circuit televisions and other security monitoring devices that it ought to have been equipped with.

“That the 3rd Defendant issued a statement to the effect that the country’s prisons are not fortified enough to withstand the kind of attacks they have been subjected to in recent times. (Attached herewith and marked exhibit A is a copy of the newspaper report).

“That the failure of the Federal Government to provide these security equipment amounts to a contravention of the provisions of the Nigerian Correctional Service Act 2019.

“That this suit seeks to challenge the contravention and non-compliance of the above provision of the Nigerian Correctional Service Act by the Defendants. That the Defendants would not be prejudiced by the grant of the reliefs sought in this suit.”

 

Source: SaharaReporters

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