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28.02.2021 news EXCLUSIVE: Shake-up at Kuje Prison after Sodomy Riot

Published 28th Feb, 2021

By 'Fisayo Soyombo

Godwin Ochekpa, a Deputy Controller of Prisons (DCP), will no longer be in charge of Kuje Prison, Abuja, following the sodomy and religion-motivated riot at the custodial centre earlier in the week.

As reported by FIJ on Wednesday, there was a riot between Boko Haram suspects and Christian inmates, with warders also becoming enmeshed in it before they eventually quelled it by firing canisters of tear gas into the air.

The problem had started when an Imam in a section called Bomb Blast (so named after terrorist inmates) was caught committing Sodomy on Tuesday.

The Imam was taken to Segregation with the guy he was sodomising, prompting Christian, an inmate in Custody 4 up (awaiting trial mates building), to say that the warders would have taken a more stringent step if a Christian had committed the offence.

Christian’s pronouncements caused a fight between him and two Muslim inmates, then escalated to a riot.

READ ALSO: BREAKING: Boko Haram Suspects Clash with Warders, Christian Inmates at Kuje Prison

On Sunday, a source at the prison told FIJ that Ochekpa had been transferred out of Kuje because of the incident, with a new official from Jos Prison set to become the new officer in charge. He is expected to resume on Monday morning.

Also, the continued stay of DSC Awisa, the Chief Warder of the prison, is in doubt, as he is being tipped to be shown the way out when the new officer-in-charge takes over.

The source also told FIJ that during a post-riot search by the prison authorities, weapons such as scissors and iron objects were retrieved from inmates, particularly those from Custody 4 and Bomb Blast, on Saturday.

READ ALSO: UNCOVERED: How Sodomy and Religion Caused Riot at Kuje Prison

The prison has been on lockdown since Saturday, meaning the inmates were not released from their cells into the playground, while there was no power supply until 6pm

FIJ understands that inmates are internally planning a revolt against the lockdown, as they wonder why the authorities would enforce a lockdown rather than concentrate on the inmates fomenting trouble.

Abdullah Meyaki, the FCT Controller of Prisons, is currently at Kuje holding a meeting with all the heads of the prison custody.

The prisons service has not made an official statement on the riot.

FIJ had contacted Ochekpa about the riot on Thursday, but he denied it, saying: “There was no riot. No incident of riot at Kuje Custodial Centre.”

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Published 28th Feb, 2021

By 'Fisayo Soyombo

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