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Nigeria: Prison Inmates Battle Officials Over Extortion



Leadership (Abuja)

Kola Niyi-Eke

17 July 2011







Inmates at the Okere-Warri federal prison in Delta State are allegedly at war with officials of the prison over alleged financial extortion and sexual abuse.

The inmates, under a present tight security over the recent jail break, reportedly physically descended on the officials of the prison for hours yesterday before security agents moved in to their rescue.

Leadership Sunday however learnt that the inmates, especially those awaiting trial, accused the officials of unnecessary extortion of money from their relations who, before seeing them, were allegedly subjected to payments of between N5,000 and N10,000 on each visit.

But the officials have dismissed the allegation as untrue, terming it a plot to discredit them.

The officials said that the awaiting trial inmates have recently grown restive over the the unnecessary delay in their cases and had resorted to attacking officials of the prison.

Our informed sources said that the inmates, especially the female, had allegedly been subjected to sexual harassment by the officials who were said to be consistently demanding sex at night.

Only last month, unconfirmed sources said that a female inmate was impregnated by an official of the prison who was later dismissed from the service when the inmate allegedly implicated him and told of the randy officer had been showering her with gifts.

A insider in the prison has, however, denied this, and claimed that the inmate was rather impregnated by a co-inmate who was allegedly her boy friend before they came to the prison.

There are fears that the conflict between the inmates and the officials may worsen if urgent steps are not taken to foil the sinister moves by the inmates who have allegedly vowed to put an end to extortion and sexual harassment from the prison officials.

Leadership checks revealed that the prison is seroiusly congested and was in a deplorable condition which disposed the inmates to the threat of disease outbreak and spread.

No fewer than 23 unidentified inmates had allegedly died in the last few weeks due to different illnesses.

However, fresh facts have emerged as to how the recent jail break occurred at the prison.

Our source said that a female accomplice to one of the suspects allegedly helped the suspects with the dynamite that was used to blow up the place. The inmates, it was gathered, had been on the plan for over two weeks, especially those awaiting trial.

who have spent close to five years until their plans were blown open as the dynamite was said to have been sourced from Ewu in Ughelli South Local Government where seismic work was being carried out.

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