By Bukar Bolori
The National Human Rights Commission has flagged off the 2022 Correctional Centre Audit exercise to accertain 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) Abuja where the event took place.
High point of the event was the donations of 1000 reading glasses and 500 prenatal drugs by the Commission in collaboration with Gift Health Plus (a United States based NGO) to the Correctional Service for onward distribution to inmates across the nation.
According to the Chairperson, “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”.
She therefore restated that welfare and access to medical care for all inmates cannot be over emphasized given the importance of healthcare to citizens, particularly the vulnerable inmates.
She used the opportunity to call on the NCS to give NHRC Officials and the Medical Team of Gift Health Plus, the maximum cooperation that is needed to make sure that the medical outreach during the 2022 Audit of Correctional Centres across the Country is a successful one.
In her remarks, the Controller General of NCS, Haliru Nababa commended the NHRC and Gift Health Plus for donating the medical items to the Service, saying that comprehensive and efficient health care is essential to every citizen, especially those in detention.
The Controller General, who was represented at the occasion by the Deputy Controller General of Corrections (Covering Duties) Health and Welfare, Marylaurine Melchizedek recalled 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 goverment, saying that good health is central in the said provisions above.
He added that 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, despite our the lean resources and excruciating circumstances.
Thereafter, 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 positivelu on the rights of inmates across Nigeria.
He declared that his organisation has found dependable partners in the NHRC and the NCS, saying that the 1000 eyeglasses and 500 prenatal drugs are targeted at meeting some of the health needs of those in detention facilities, as a measure to further protect their right to health.
At the end of the ceremony, the the NCS presented a plaque to the NHRC Chairperson in recognition of her excellent performance at the NHRC.