Mr Charles Okah
Lagos lawyer, Festus keyamo, has written a petition to the Comptroller General of Nigeria Prisons, over allegations of acts of sodomy taking place in Kuje Prison, in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja.
In the petition dated Tuesday, Keyamo complained that his client, Mr Charles Okah, elder brother of jailed Henry Okah, was almost raped by some prison officials on the pretext that they wanted to confirm if he had stuffed some substance in his anus.
According to the petition, “On Wednesday, 3rd July, 2013, at about 6.30 am, some prison warders, specifically Mr. Isah Musa (the chief clerk), Mr. Tanko Gokuje, (the assistant yard master) and three (3) other prison warders (hereinafter referred to as the culprits) entered our client’s cell (No.1) and demanded to search his anus because they claimed they had information that he was hiding ‘incriminating’ materials therein. Before entering his cell, they made sure all other inmates were locked up in their cells.”
The lawyer maintained that although his client protested the so-called examination, the warders overwhelmed him in the cell, and when he eventually allowed the examination to be carried out, he saw Musa, the chief clerk, undressing, armed with a full and “sustained” erection of his organ, forcing him (Okah) to raise the alarm, calling for help.
According to the petition, Okah had heard of such acts of sodomy within the prison among other inmates. But until that fateful morning, he had not experienced it.
In his words: “Having heard from other inmates in the past that this is a known pattern used by warders to sodomise inmates, our client initially resisted the attempt, but was forced to succumb after much pressure and insistence by the culprits.
“However, having succumbed, to the utter shock and dismay of our client, he saw that Mr. Isah Musa pulled off his clothes and with the sustained erection attempted to carry out the acts of sodomy on him. To achieve this, our client was then held to the ground by Mr. Tanko Gokuje and three (3) other warders. Our client had to intensify his struggle and resistance to prevent the completion of the criminal act. Our client screamed for help and this was heard by other inmates.”
Keyamo said although the report of the incident was made, the prison authorities led by DCP Felix Lawrence, pleaded with Okah not to formalise the complaint and urged him to “kill the report”.
The lawyer noted that “this criminal act has been reported as a common and recurring phenomenon in the Nigerian prisons. It simply shows the despicable level of moral decadence of the officers who are paid to take charge of prison inmates.”
While urging the Comptroller General of Prisons to investigate the allegation, Keyamo called for the application of “appropriate sanctions” on those found wanton in the case.