Tuesday, 26 March 2019

Gov Shettima Sets Up Committee To Investigate Allegations Of Sodomy In Maiduguri Prison

The Borno State Governor, Kashim Shettima has constituted an eight-man committee to investigate allegations of sodomy, forced abortion and sexual abuse at the Maiduguri maximum Security prison.

This followed a damning and detailed account of happenings in the prison, as reported by one of the inmates Charles Okah, through human rights lawyer Femi Falana.

Worried by the revelations in the report, Shettima gave the committee seven terms of reference, charging them to unravel all the issues raised by the 31-page piece supposedly written by the inmate.

The committee is chaired by the state Attorney General, Ka’Shehu Lawan while other members are drawn from FIDA, DSS, NBA and the National Human Rights Commission.

They are to submit their findings and recommendations to the state government in a week.

“In my position as the Chief Security Officer of the state And As a responsible and responsive government it behooves on us to treat this allegation with all the seriousness it deserves because this does not only bother on the sanctity of law, morality and security but on the safety of prison inmates whose rights are being violated allegedly by persons who are supposed to protect them this makes them terribly exposed, vulnerable and helpless.


“It is alleged by Sahara reporters that these atrocities and heinous crimes are perpetrated by and or in connivance with prison officials who are entrusted with the care, rehabilitation and welfare of the inmates and in the confines of the prison which should serve as a corrective institution.

“Then we are grave danger and everything possible must be done and urgently too to not only put an end to this ugly development but to punish all those involved or who aids and abets same in one way or the other accordingly I hereby appoint and inaugurate a high powered committee to investigate the allegations and make appropriate recommendations based on its findings.

“The committee which is to be headed by the state attorney general and commissioner for justice comprise of other eminent personalities of people with integrity and diverse experiences and represent sectors and institutions that are relevant to the subject matter and their investigation.

“I therefore on the General public and especially the prison authorities to give this committee the necessary support and cooperation to succeed in this assignment which is for the benefit of the society

“Terms of reference of the committee include

1. To meet with the officials of the Maiduguri maximum security prison and if necessary some of the inmates and investigate the allegations of child prostitution sodomy and forced abortion in the same prison

2. To identify those involved in the commission of the alleged crime.

3. To discretely identify the victims with maximum caution to protect their identities

4. To verify the involvement or otherwise of officials charged with the responsibility of taking care of the inmates

5. To recommend ways and means of preventing a reoccurrence of such crimes in the future

6. To make necessary recommendations to relevant authorities on appropriate disciplinary measures to be taken against any officer or person found culpable.

7. To identify and make recommendations on any other matter which in the opinion of the committee will enhance the protection of the human rights of the inmates and protect them from abuses the time frame of the committee is one week from today to complete this assignment and submit this report to the government.”

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