Perekeme Kpodoh, former security adviser to the Bayelsa State Government, has filed a petition before the Nigerian Prisons Service authorities over an alleged conspiracy between the state Prison Controller and the state officials to kill him in prison custody by denying him proper medical care as ordered by the court.
Kpodoh is standing trial for the rape of a 26-year-old (name withheld), who claimed she was invited by the accused to his office in the hotel at about 8pm, after which he locked the doors and forcefully overpowered and raped her.
He is being detained at the state medium prison in Okaka, Yenagoa, over allegations of rape.
Kpodoh accused the Bayelsa Command of the Nigerian Prisons Service, led by its Controller of Prison, Chiabua Uche, of colluding with the special prosecutor appointed by the state government, A.S. Athur, of intimidation and attempt to kill him while in prison custody.
In the petition dated January 11, 2018 and addressed to the Assistant Controller of Prisons, Zone E, Owerri, Imo State, Kpodoh noted that despite the order by Justice Eradiri of the state High Court for him to get proper medical care, the state prison authority had frustrated the process.
The petition, made available to newsmen in Yenagoa, the Bayelsa State capital, was signed by his counsel, Julius Iyekoroghe.
"Despite the known health challenges of our client and the order of the Court for proper medical care, he was discharged from the Federal Medical Centre on the 24th August, 2018 and taken back to the Yenagoa prison owing to intense pressure from the controller of prisons, Bayelsa State in connivance with A.S. Arthur," a part of it read.
"Upon his return to prison, his condition worsened and it became necessary to seek urgent medical care. Our client then approached the prison authorities on the need to allow him to receive urgent medical treatment, but he was told the approval of the prison controller is needed, even in the face of substituting court order. We applied to the controller of prison with a letter dated 25th September, 2018.
"The Prison comptroller reluctantly agreed after several days and directed an official to take him to FMC, but our client declined for fear that he may be killed with lethal medication due to the alleged shady behaviour, and all along doing the bidding of the government special prosecutor, who is bent on ensuring that our client remains in prison. The action and inactions of the FMC that arouse suspicion is its refusal to furnish our client with his medical report, in spite of repeated demands in two separate letters. Our client wants to use the report to pursue his case for bail before the court."
The petition continued: “When I was taken out of court and back to prison, A.S. Arthur ordered the Controller of Prisons to search for me due to his allegation that I am being taken to another destination other than prison custody. Instead of the prison controller to investigate, he rushed down to the prisons and threatened to pull down the heaven. He was dumbfounded when he saw me in the prison. It is without doubt that the prison controller has compromised his duty and has reduced his duty and rank .He has jettisoned professionalism and is at the beck and call of a government prosecutor, A.S. Arthur.
"Since his protest, the prison controller has singled him out and continually subjected him to inhumane, degrading treatment on the instruction of A.S. Arthur. Our client now feels his life is in grave danger. Our client is calling on the Nigerian Prison Service Authorities to call the Bayelsa Prison Controller to order, as his conduct is unbecoming of his office and a serious breach of extant laws and public trust.”