Abba Moro gives Nigerian Prisons 30 days to confiscate inmates’ phones

Mobile ohones used to illustrate the story.

The Nigerian Prisons Service, NPS, on Tuesday in Abuja said that it had begun the recovery and confiscation of all cell phones “smuggled” into prisons by inmates.

The Spokesperson of the service, Ope Fatinikun, disclosed this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria.

Mr. Fatinikun said that the renewed effort followed a directive by the Minister of Interior, Abba Moro, that the service should recover all the cell phones within 30 days as part of efforts to sanitise the system.

“I can assure you that the process of recovering all these cell phones has begun and we would work round -the-clock to ensure that they are recovered within the 30 days given by the minister,” he said.

Mr. Fatinikun who declined to give details of the recovery process for security reasons, however, said that the operation would be carried out with utmost professionalism.

He said that despite the fact that it was illegal for inmates to possess cell phones, some of them still managed to sneak in the phones without the knowledge of officials.

He absolved the prison officials from any complicity in the illegal act, but said that security and surveillance would be tightened to ensure that the ugly trend did not continue.

The spokesperson said all the phones recovered from the inmates would be destroyed with a warning that inmates should desist from the act or face stiffer sanctions.

“From my experience I would tell you that most of these cell phones are smuggled into the premises without the knowledge of the officials

“Some of these inmates even go as far as concealing the phones in beverage sachets, but even before the directive we had been doing our best to recover them,” he said.

Mr. Fatinukun said the service would continue to do its best to reposition the service in line with international best practice inspite of the challenges.

The Minister of Interior, Abba Moro, had on November 21 given the Nigerian Prison Service a 30- day ultimatum to recover all cell phones being used by inmates in prisons across the country. (NAN)


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  • Shola Adejuwon

    imagine what would happen to the thousands of people employed directly and indirectly if govt shuts this company down, me i have said it there is a better way to do this thing lagos govt should look into it properly before making any rash decision

    • Segun Surulere

      Its not a rash decision but a decision by a responsible govt. Better safe than sorry. You need to get the real facts on whats happening . People are cutting corners willy nilly. I hope you dont live in one of those houses

      • Reader

        There is nothing safe about this. It is basically just newsworthy that’s all.

        The proper thing is to carry out a test and demolish faulty buildings.

        There are still so many buildings being constructed right not as I am typing in Lagos without building permits (ask your Landlord). If the government wants to be safe they should tackle the issue from the root.

  • nkechi ogu

    1 building collapse out of 6000 is a great record for any developer anywhere in the world, what has happened is unfortunate but must we kill the company to know that govment is doing something? must we throw the baby out with the bathwater?

    • Emeka

      Nkechi you are an estate developer dont tell me you are trying to justify this thing o. although i think i understand the case better now and i know the lekki gardens guys have a good record in our sector, but they have to own this thing jare

      • nkechi ogu

        Emeka thank God you are an industry person yourself, you know how these things go. as a developer you know all the factos involved in geting an estate done, not to talk of 6000 units. so that is my point

    • george

      So people who lost their lives are less than humans than the remaining 5,999 buildings?

      • Olabisi

        George, have you always been right all your live. 1 mistake out of 6000 should not be blown out of proportion like this, those who died are human being and I commiserate with their families but does that make Richard the developer, why is TB Joshua not in custody? or all his churches marked for demolition?

  • Daramola

    Me i didnt even know people were not living in the house already. so it is an uncompleted building, what were people looking for there at that time.

    • Olawumi Daodu

      I was also surprised to learn that it is an uncompleted building. there is more to this than we know, the casualties shouldnt be that high going by this new facts emerging

    • george

      Imagine if people were living in the house at the time of collapse!

      • Olabisi

        Lekki Gardens has constructed numerous projects, about 6,000 housing units and people, I mean human live there and there have never been any such collapse. Eventualities happen but it does not mean what happened can be excused..No, but buildings that people inhabit fall everywhere and every time, no need to over flog Richard. He has achieved a lot over a very short period of time.

  • Erastus

    So they want to demolish all the building in lekki gardens because of something that happened somewhere else. na wa for this fire brigade approach.

    • Segun Surulere

      No. Thats is not the case . Please follow the news properly get the real facts

  • Popoola Deborah

    How come none of the lekki gardens buildings in Abuja, Ogun and Rivers have collapsed tho. People should ask these questions. But we have found scape goat so no need.

  • Bayo Ola

    Most of the victims that were retrieved from the rubbles were wearing construction helmet as shown in the pictures after the building collapsed, so it cannot be true as this article claimed that the victims were seeking refuge there. This false claim made me to lose faith in the credibility of this article. Nevertheless, while the Lagos State government may do a thorough investigation before arbitrary demolition, we need to enforce our laws and sentiments must be put aside. That the builders sell affordable homes is not an excuse from accountability. They are not giving the homes out free. They are selling them. They need not engage in the project if it is not a profitable one. So one cannot cut them some slack. Lives were lost. The full weight of the law must be applied! We have to start building a nation anchored on merit. We must jettison emotion/sentiments when there is time to hold people accountable for their actions!

    • Bolu

      @Bayo Ola, I think the helmet was worn to one of the survivors to protect his head during the recue, there is an inscription on the helmet that is related to LASG, also there was a blanket in the picture, he can’t possibly be working with helmet and blanket at the same time.
      Whatever it is, Govt should find a lasting solution to collapse, that should be the way forward. Scapegoatism will not help us as citizens

    • Olabisi

      Bayo Ola, if you were present at the scene of the accident or even followed the news in details, you will know that the helmet belongs to NEMA which was used to protect the victim’s head while trying to rescue him. That assumption that they were working was incorrect…Also,no one works in the dark, the government have not found any lamp with which these people were working, atleast no one can work in the dark at that time I presume.

    • Reader

      Regulators are there to ensure standards. It’s the same reason LASTMA is on the road. You cannot trust people to be perfect. Even Lekki Gardens cannot trust the contractors to be perfect and the contractors cannot trust the laborers to even mix things properly. Regulators have to be on everyone’s heels 24/7

  • Oye

    Theo has wittingly concluded that the detention of Richard by the Police is at the instance of the LASG. The Police as we know is an FG organ and therefore Theo’s insinuation is uncalled for.

    Has Theo wondered why the Governor promptly sacked LASG officials saddled with monitoring and compliance? If the collapsed structure did not contravene the approved plan, the sacked officials would have been crying out loud.

    To my mind, Theo’s PR job is supportive of ‘business as usual’ in building construction practice where approved plans count for nothing and lives of innocent citizens are put at risk.

    It appears he is not saddened by the loss of so many lives in a single incident which is perhaps the highest casualty figure in Lagos where collapses are prevalent.

    Developers, designers and building contractors have a responsibility to give adequate consideration to safety at all times during construction and occupation of buildings.

    There is no gain saying it, this is one building collapse too many!!!

    • Reader

      Sounds Like you didn’t read the article sha. You are basically attacking the author. Not fair.

      He has not even defended Lekki Gardens, he is talking about due process and I agree. The house are not owned by Lekki Gardens but innocent people who invested money like me.

      Whilst I want punishment for all those complicit, I also have to think of my money. I didn’t steal it… many years of saving and then it gets demolished? We should find ways to resolve issues with limited casualties.

      To clarify on the issue of the sacking as well, I can give you 100% info that they were sacked because they gave approvals for the same building that collapsed.

      I am sure every one is saddened by the loss.