New Telegraph

No need for my resignation over jailbreaks – Aregbesola

…says FEC okays N965.9m for Correctional Service’s operational vehicles

…ratifies 2022 Finance Bill

Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola has said that there was no need for him to resign his position over the gale of jailbreaks in the country.

The minister said this in reaction to calls for his resignation over attacks on some of the nation’s correctional facilities leading to the escape of inmates and hardened criminals.

Aregbesola, who briefed newsmen after a weekly Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting chaired by President Muhammadu Buhari Wednesday, also disclosed that the Council approved the sum of N965,902,524.58 for the purchase of 49 operational vehicles, including Green Marias, for the Correctional Service.

Responding to calls for his resignation following repeated jailbreaks, the minister said: “Our facility in Imo was attacked in April, Kabba was in September, Abulungu was in October and Jos was in November; just to capture the attacks. As painful as those attacks were, nobody will really want the end of justice to be so vulnerable. The custodial facilities are the final end of the criminal justice system because such facilities are the ultimate end of the administration of justice.

“So, morally, the state owes itself the responsibility of safe custody that must not be violated. So, on that account alone, we must appreciate the enormity of any successful attack on our custodial facility and I do so. But I want us to put these things in the context of our security situation.

“In Jos, our men died, meaning that the best we could put there was there and when your best could not suffice, it means that it is no longer a question of inability to make preparation or failure for preparedness; it is just that at that instance we could not just hold the defence as expected.”

Aregbesola, however, said that the authorities concerned are upping their game, to ensure that such attacks do not happen again.

“We are upping our game and we will prevent any such opportunistic attack and even make it impossible, we are working with all arms of government, particularly security to make our custodial facilities impregnable and we will not rest until that is achieved. That is the assurance I want to give Nigerians. As to whether it calls for my resignation, I still don’t see any need for that because it is not for lack of preparedness that the attacks were successful,” the minister stated.

The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, in her briefing disclosed that the Council ratified the Finance Bill for the 2021/2022 fiscal year.

She told newsmen that the bill, currently with the National Assembly, was focused on tax as well as reviewing and amending some eleven fiscal laws.

She further explained that rather than proposing new taxes, or increasing tax rates, the Finance Bill for the 2022 fiscal year focused on closing loopholes and improving tax administration.

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