There was a turning point in Nigeria’s non-custodial regime on 25 August 2022 with the inauguration of the National Parole Board for the Nigerian Correctional Service (NCoS). The Board was launched by the NCoS Controller General, Haliru Nababa, at the organisation's headquarters in Abuja.
Parole is the temporary or permanent release of a prisoner before the expiry of a sentence, on the promise of good behaviour. The passage of the Nigerian Correctional Service Act 2019 ushered in the non-custodial forms of punishment for offenders. Section 40 of the Act empowers the Controller General to establish the National Parole Board and appoint its board members to administer the parole process. The National Parole Board is responsible for determining parole eligibility of applicants, setting conditions that will guide the release of applicants to the society, and revoke any paroles granted to an applicant when these conditions are violated.
RoLAC actively supported the passage of the Nigerian Correctional Service Act through its legislative journey and continues to support the implementation of the law, especially its non-custodial measures. This includes the development of standing orders, training manuals, training of non-custodial officers, and training of trainers at the various NCoS training schools. The creation of the Parole Board will increase compliance with provisions of the law and other relevant criminal justice laws leading to a reduction in prison congestion.
“Parole as a non-custodial sentencing option helps to decongest custodial centres and reduce administrative costs. The inauguration of the parole board underscores the zeal and commitment of the service to the Nigerian Correctional Service Act 2018.”
Haliru Nababa, Controller General, Nigerian Correctional Service