Officials of Maiduguri Maximum Security Custodial Centre, Borno State, have been caught in a video subjecting inmates to inhuman treatments including torture for refusing to pay for the few government-provided beds at the facility.
The video sent to SaharaReporters by a reliable prison source, showed officials stripping inmates, who refused to rent the beds for a fee down to their shorts and placing them in a wooden stock known as pillory before leaving them in the courtyard throughout the night for the Harmattan to batter them.
According to findings by SaharaReporters, this inhumane practice is being perpetuated at the orders of Chief Warder of the correctional centre, Adamu Potiskum.
Potiskum is said to be the arrowhead of the extortion scheme against prisoners at the facility where impunity is now the order of the day.
As a result of being exposed to the harsh Harmattan weather all through the night, some of the affected inmates are said to be showing signs of hypothermia – a serious medical condition caused by extreme cold, according to Longman Dictionary.
#PressPlay: Prison officials stripping inmates, who refused to rent the beds for a fee down to their shorts and placing them in a wooden stock known as pillory before leaving them in the courtyard throughout the night for the Harmattan to batter them. pic.twitter.com/dtaoPwLmdO— Sahara Reporters (@SaharaReporters) January 10, 2020
The video also shows the dilapidated state of the correctional centre in the heart of Maiduguri – the town which birthed Boko Haram insurgency – a guerrilla war that continue to claim lives and displace millions across Nigeria, Niger, Chad and Cameroon.
Recall that SaharaReporters had in 2019 published two stories detailing how little boys were sodomised and female inmates sexually abused by prison officials at the Maiduguri Maximum Security Custodial Centre.
The report forced the authorities to set up a panel to investigate the matter and punish all those found culpable
Inmates, who spoke out against their ill treatment and sexual molestation at the time were warned to keep quiet or risk further punishment.
Fearing a transfer from the facility that has since become a gold mine for him, Potiskum on his part threatened to expose senior prison officials behind the pregnancy of a female convict and dehumanisation of other inmates if moved away from the place.
SaharaReporters gathered that his threat worked and he has since been left to head the facility.
Spokesperson for the Nigerian Correctional Services, Mr Francis Enobore, was yet to respond to a text message by our correspondent over the matter as at the time of filing this story.