Rivers state chapter of Civil Liberties Organisation has expressed worries over the alleged transfer of some Boko Haram detainees to the prison in Port Harcourt.
Vanguard reports that Livingstone Wechie, publicity and research secretary of the rights body, expressed concern in a statement issued on July 8, Wednesday.
He said that a top security source within the prison service disclosed the development to the organisation.
“Although the authorities may deny and make this development an unfounded secret, there is no basis for this action by the authorities involved,” he added.
Wechie noted that the development could negatively affect the area if the situation was not well managed.
“Ordinarily, terrorists’ inmates should be kept in isolated maximum facilities because keeping them with other ordinary criminals will give them room to indoctrinate other inmates particularly since the Port Harcourt prison is already over congested,” he said.
While no official of the Nigeria prison service was ready to comment on the allegation, Opubo Nko-Tariah, the spokesman of Governor Nyesom Wike, said:
“I can’t attest to the veracity of the story. However, should there be an ounce of truth in the transfer story, the Rivers state government should know so that adequate measures can be put in place in partnership with the federal government. Although the prisons belong to the federal government, the state government will be blamed for any havoc wreaked on residents if and when there is a jail break.”
Opubo Nko-Tariah also wondered why the prisoners would be transferred to the state when Port Harcourt does not have a heavily fortified prison for such inmates.
Meanwhile, the alleged relocation of Boko Haram prisoners to the federal prison in Ekwulobia, Aguata local government area of Anambra state, sparked waves of protests in the area.
The Yoruba socio-cultural group, Afenifere, stated that relocating the prisoners was like spreading Ebola patients who ought to be confined to a special ward.