Thursday, 27 February 2014
Alleged Independence Day Bombers, Charles Okah And Nwabueze, Complain Of Inhuman Treatment In Kuje Prison
Charles Okah and Obi Nwabueze, who were arraigned in October 2010 for alleged involvement in last year’s the Independence Day bombing in Abuja, have warned the Comptroller-General of Prisons over the harsh and inhuman treatment they are enduring in Kuje Prisons.
In a petition filed today by Ogbenovo Otemu and Matthew Omonade on behalf of Festus Keyamo Chambers, the lawyers alerted the Comptroller-General of impending legal consequences if he fails or neglects to redress the injustice to their clients in his custody.
The complaint said that that unlike other suspects awaiting trial, Okah and Nwabueze are being kept in solitary confinement. “They are deprived from worshiping God like other inmates in the worship center, they are not allowed to participate in sporting activities and when their wives and relatives visit them, they are not allowed to see them,” the complaint states.
It also said that Mr. Okah’s wife has on several occasions been humiliated at the prison and prevented from seeing her husband, contrary to the orders of the court that she and other relatives be allowed access to see him.
Furthermore, when the prison was fumigated last week, specifically on December 8 because a scorpion was found in Okah’s cell, he was made to remain in the cell during the process and fumigated over, while others were allowed out.
They noted that each time they have complaint about the situation, the officers of Kuje Prisons have always said they are acting on instructions from above.
“We state that our clients are merely accused persons and not convicts, which means, their presumption of innocence guaranteed by the Constitution should be respected,” the petition stated. “Therefore treating our clients in a manner that suggest that they have been condemned is illegal and unconstitutional.”