From Femi Folaranmi, Yenagoa
A leader of the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND), Charles Okah, has raised the alarm that he is being kept in solitary confinement at Kuje Prisons.
Okah, who has been in detention since 2010, is facing trial over the Independence Day bombing at Eagle Square, Abuja.
In a letter to the Minister of Interior, General Abdulraham Dambazau, through his lawyer, Timipa Okponipere, Okah said resumption of solitary confinement by officials of Kuje Prisons was a gross violation of an order given by Justice Gabriel Kolawole directing that he should not be kept in solitary confinement.
Okponipere urged Dambazau to intervene, and warned that Okah has directed that contempt charges be initiated if officials insisted in keeping him in solitary confinement.
The letter reads in part: “We have the instruction of our client to bring to your notice the fact that, as of 15.00 hours of February 3, 2017 the Kuje Prisons authorities have resumed the illegal practice of keeping our client in solitary confinement.
“This is a gross violation of the court order given by Justice Kolawole of the Federal High Court in Abuja on Monday, January 30, 2017 to the effect that, on no account should our client be subjected to solitary confinement within the Kuje prisons.
“We are, therefore, by this letter, urging you to use your good offices to direct the officer-in-charge of Kuje Prisons to comply with the said court order.
“However, we will initiate contempt proceedings against your office, the Comptroller General of the Nigeria Prisons Service (NPS) as well as the officer-in-charge of Kuje Prisons if, within seven-days of receipt of this letter, our client is not released from solitary confinement.”