Prison Of­fi­cers Al­lege Ex­tor­tion At Kirikiri Train­ing School

Sunday Trust - - FRONT PAGE - By Stella Iyaji, Joshua Odeyemi (Abuja) & Eu­gene Agha, Lagos

Of­fi­cers of the Nige­ria Prison Ser­vice un­der­go­ing a train­ing pro­gramme at its in­sti­tu­tion in Kirikiri, Lagos, have ac­cused of­fi­cials of the school of ex­tor­tion in the guise of pro­vid­ing them with uni­forms.

About 408 per­son­nel of the rank of Chief Su­per­in­ten­dent of Pris­ons, drawn from com­mands across the coun­try, are par­tic­i­pat­ing in a three-month course on de­vel­op­ment at the in­sti­tu­tion, Daily Trust on Sun­day gath­ered.

The pro­gramme is due to be con­cluded on Novem­ber 15, it was gath­ered.

Par­tic­i­pants, how­ever, al­leged that the school had forced each of them to pay N37000 for cer­e­mo­nial dress, belts and caps, items they claimed to posses.

They al­leged that the ex­penses were not com­mu­ni­cated to them when they were be­ing as­sem­bled for the train­ing, say­ing an ear­lier cir­cu­lar from the Comptroller-Gen­eral of Pris­ons or­dered them to pay only N1000.

“We were only asked to be ready to pay a non­re­fund­able fee of N1000 on ar­rival at the school. We com­plied and paid, but later on they or­dered that we must pay N37000 each. They asked us to pay N33000 to CDO’s of­fice and N4000 to Course Of­fi­cer’s of­fice, ”one of the par­tic­i­pants said.

He said all the of­fi­cers had brought with them all the items that the school was forc­ing them to buy.

“Is it right for us to be com­pelled to buy what we al­ready have? ”he asked.

An­other par­tic­i­pant com­plained that the ma­te­rial for the cer­e­mo­nial dress was of a very low qual­ity that does not be­fit their sta­tus as se­nior of­fi­cers.

“The cer­e­mo­nial wears that we have are of bet­ter qual­ity than what they want to force down our throats, ”he said.

They told Daily Trust on Sun­day that the school au­thor­i­ties had been threat­en­ing those that were not able to pay the amount with au­to­matic re­peat, as they would not be al­lowed to sit for their ex­ams.

“They re­fused to con­duct the ex­ams un­til we were paid salaries. When we got salaries and many of us re­fused to pay, they bluntly told us that if we didn’t pay we will not take the ex­ams and must re­peat the course next year,” one of the par­tic­i­pants said.

The Nige­ria Pris­ons Pub­lic Re­la­tions Of­fi­cer, Fran­cis Eno­bore, said he was not in the po­si­tion to con­firm the story. He, how­ever, directed our re­porter to the Com­man­dant in charge of the train­ing cen­tre.

But the Com­man­dant of the Nige­rian Pris­ons Train­ing School, Kirikiri, Lagos, As­sis­tant Comptroller of Pris­ons, Ta­judeen Aremu, dis­missed the al­le­ga­tions, in­sist­ing that it may have em­anated from mis­chief-mak­ers.

He said that the N1000 that was paid as stated in a cir­cu­lar is­sued be­fore the com­mence­ment of the pro­gramme.

“No ex­am­i­na­tion was put on hold be­cause of the al­leged re­fusal of par­tic­i­pants to pay the manda­tory N35,000. In fact, over 400 par­tic­i­pants have paid the said sum. Only about seven have made part-pay­ments and with the prom­ise that they are go­ing to pay be­fore the end of the pro­gramme.

“The need for the pay­ment of the said sum is clearly spelt out. It is meant for the pur­chase of cer­e­mo­nial uni­form, P-caps, belts, track­suits, note books and com­puter ma­te­ri­als for grad­u­at­ing stu­dents.

“It is the prac­tice that the ser­vice pro­vides cer­e­mo­nial uni­forms for all ju­nior staff alone and not for se­nior of­fi­cials. Those at­tend­ing the course are of the ranks of Su­per­in­ten­dent of Pris­ons (SP) and Chief Su­per­in­ten­dent of Pris­ons (CSP). They are sup­pose to pro­vide for them­selves and not the other way round.

“Part of the money will also be used to or­ga­nize gala night for the grad­u­at­ing stu­dents. No ex­ams was put on hold. Last Fri­day, par­tic­i­pants did their syn­di­cate test, while on Mon­day they will be writ­ing the re­main­ing part of their ex­ams. The gala night has been slated for Tues­day evening, while Thurs­day is the pass­ing out pa­rade,” he said.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Nigeria

© PressReader. All rights reserved.