Friday, July 21, 2017

Group Uses Fire To Attack Kuje Prison

A major fire has engulfed in several buildings inside Kuje prison, Abuja. The fire reportedly started around 10:45 am, Sahara Reporters says.

A group calling itself the Prisoners Against Injustice in Nigeria (PAIN) has claimed responsibility for the fire. PAIN made the claim in a handwritten statement posted on the prison notice board before it was hurriedly removed by the prison authorities, the news outlet further states.

PAIN said the attack was meant to draw the attention of the world to the pathetic state of prisons and corruption within prison services.

The terse statement described the recent death on Tuesday, June 27 of Samuel Mba, an inmate awaiting trial but remanded in Kuje prison for the past four years as the last straw.

The group blamed Mr. Mba’s death and that of many other inmates on gross negligence, corruption and the lack of basic medicines and equipment to treat emergencies and routine health challenges.

PAIN said that in spite of the huge annual budgetary allocation to the Nigeria Prison Service, inmates must buy medicines through prison staff and seek funds to treat serious conditions in healthcare facilities outside the yard.

Those who are unable to afford health services are left to their fate, with many dying.

PAIN described the prison clinic building as a carcass housing non-functional equipment to deceive visitors. They said the dead equipment served only as ornaments and storage shelves.

PAIN also said they burnt down the overcrowded cells to ensure that spacious replacements ideal for human habitation is built.

The group also blamed Nigeria's criminal justice system, adding that there was a different law for the rich and influential, and another for the poor masses.