Bassey Anthony, Uyo
OFFICIALS of the Uyo Correctional Service (Uyo Prisons) and the Deputy Controller of the Service, Babafemi Jaiyeoba, are fighting over the welfare of inmates.
The officials accused Jaiyeoba of starving inmates, diverting food items/vocational tools and extortion, saying the DCP was secretly burying inmates who died from starvation
But Jaiyeoba denied the allegations, saying they emanated from ‘rebellious officials whose illegal businesses were recently exposed’.
According to him, authors of the petition were fond of smuggling hard drugs, weapons and other unlawful items into the facility.
He said: “In a recent search of the facility, bags of Indian hemp, kitchen knives, gin and other dangerous weapons were discovered and linked to some of the officials. The perpetrators are infuriated and are rebelling.”
Jaiyeoba explained that shortly after the discoveries, the officials began instigating the inmates against the authority, leading to the relocation of such inmates to Port Harcourt.
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“To register his protest, one of the officials decided to skip work for a week and when he resumed, I subjected him to minor disciplinary actions which he rebuffed. He also openly threatened to ‘rubbish me’ and personally listed the allegations against my person,” he added.
“We have continued to do our best to take care of inmates in our custody. We ensure they have regular medical care and we feed them well. Though we try to save as many as possible, death is inevitable. We lost six of the 1,005 within the year; most of them died in hospital.
“I know where these allegations are coming from, I can mention their names, but because their cases are still being investigated, we have to allow them, while we continue to do the right thing.”