An inmate of the Kirikiri Prison in Lagos State, Oluwaseyi Davies, has told a Lagos Sexual Offences and Domestic Violence Court, Ikeja that his incarceration in the condemned cell alongside criminals on death row has impacted negatively on his psychological well-being.
Davies prayed the court to compel prison authorities to relocate him from a condemned cell to a cell commensurate with his alleged offence. The suspect is standing trial for allegedly defiling a 16-year-old girl (name withheld) and was charged by the state government.
Narrating his experience before Justice Sybil Nwaka, the defendant said: “My Lord, my life is in danger as I am not safe. My family members are not even aware I am in Kirikiri Prisons. I am daily threatened by the condemned inmates who have persistently desired to ram into my anus.”
The awaiting trial inmate accused the officials at the prisons of whisking him and four other inmates away from Ikoyi Prisons, where they were initially remanded to Kirikiri Medium Prison without any notice or information to their lawyers or families. He further lamented that the Ikoyi prison authorities secretly swapped him with some inmates, who were listed to be transferred from Ikoyi to Kirikiri Prison, dragged him into a bus and straight into a cell, which is solely meant for condemned inmates know as “Angola”.
According to him, “I was conducting prayers with other inmates in my cell on Saturday, when one of the prison officials came, holding a list in his hand, and handpicked me out of the rest. The official also went to another cell and picked out four other inmates. “I asked him why he picked me out and he replied that the five of us have been selected for transfer to Kirikiri Prison. I was shocked and asked for the reason behind the transfer. He didn’t respond. The list had nine names but my name wasn’t included. The other inmates whose names were included began shouting at him, asking him why he would pick the five of us and exclude the actual people on the list.
“I have not slept since Saturday. The inmates I met in the cell had threatened to deal with me if I did not open my ‘yansh’ for them to explore. My life is in danger as I am not safe,” Davies said. However, the judge expressed displeasure at the development and summoned a prison official to explain why the defendant that was remanded in Ikoyi prison was transferred to Kirikiri.
A prison officer, who did not state his name, told court that he did not know the reason behind the defendant’s transfer to Kirikiri. He said: “The officials at Ikoyi did not tell me the reason they transferred him. But maybe he committed an offence there because that is likely the reason. The defendant is very stubborn, so I think he is lying.”
Justic Nwaka therefore ordered the prison official to investigate the matter and the defence counsel, Samuel Adeyemo, to report back to court after visiting his client in prison. She subsequently adjourned the matter to March 27 for hearing of the bail application.