Barely 24 hours after a report by SaharaReportersexposing how officials of the Maiduguri Maximum Security Custodial Centre torture inmates, who refuse to pay for bed spaces provided by government was published, warders have embarked on a search of various cell clusters in a bid to unravel persons leaking happenings at the facility to the respected online news medium.
A video sent to SaharaReporters by a reliable prison source had showed officials stripping inmates, who refused to rent 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.
Findings by SaharaReporters showed that the 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.
#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
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.
Following the release of the report on Friday, prison officials were said to have embarked on a massive search of Cluster 2 where the abuses of condemned convicts was caught in the video.
A reliable source at the facility told SaharaReporters that the search operation began as early as 5:00am on Saturday by the officials.
The search was said to have been led by the deputy to the officer in charge, supported by several senior officials including the Chief Warder, Potiskum.
The team, according to our source, tried to placate Nuhu Umaru, the inmate seen in the video with his two legs put inside a pillory, pleading with him to cover them up should the Controller-General of the Nigerian Correctional Services or Minister of Interior choose to investigate the cruel ordeal he was put through.
Inmates at the facility are threatening to go on a hunger strike from February 1 if nothing is done to curb the excesses of the prison authorities.
Spokesperson for the Nigerian Correctional Services, Mr Francis Enobore, in a text message to our correspondent, denied that inmates were being subjected to dehumanising treatments at the Maiduguri prison by officials.
According to him, if the report was found to be true, appropriate action would be taken by the authorities.
He said, “The accusation is ridiculous because inmates do not pay for bed spaces.
“However, if you have proof of the allegation, share with me so that appropriate action can be taken.”