NCoS Denies Underage Death Row Allegations

Daud Olatunji

The Nigerian Correctional Service (NCoS) has firmly refuted recent social media reports suggesting the presence of an underage death row inmate facing sodomy allegations within its Borno state facility. ACC Umar Abubakar, the spokesperson for NCoS, dismissed these claims as entirely false and aimed at tarnishing the institution’s reputation.

In a statement to Saturday Vanguard, Abubakar emphasized that these allegations were baseless and intended to undermine the commendable efforts of the NCoS. 

He stated, “The attention of the Nigerian Correctional Service has been drawn to a misleading information on the purported age of Abubakar Mustapha, an inmate on death row in one of our facilities. This is a deliberate attempt by the writer to discredit the good works of the Service.”

Abubakar clarified, “First of all, the said inmate was purportedly reported to be a juvenile sentenced to death by hanging. 

This is not true as we can confirm that he was actually 19 years old when he was arraigned in court on March 25, 2021, and by the time he was convicted on 1st February, 2022, he was already 20 years old. Throughout the period of his trial in court, his age was never an issue because he had attained the age of maturity.”

Regarding the sodomy allegations, Abubakar dismissed them as pure fabrication, explaining, “Secondly, the allegation of sodomy against the said inmate as alleged by the report is obviously a concoction of the author’s imagination, and this is laughable to anyone who knows the workings of our Custodial Centres.

 Suffice it to mention that the way these facilities are structured, and the surveillance therein, makes it practically impossible for such immoral act to play out in the cells.”

In conclusion, he urged the public to disregard these fictitious claims and emphasized that they were designed to mislead and garner unwarranted sympathy for the inmate in question. 

The NCoS stressed that their duty was to uphold the law and ensure justice was served in accordance with the decisions of competent courts of law.

Previously, an online news portal had reported that the inmate, Mustapha Abubakar, claimed to be 15 years old and had appealed to Borno state governor, Babagana Zulum, for swift execution, alleging sexual abuse by older inmates and warders.

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