We never authorized extortion of Inmate relatives by staff— Prisons Authority 

…sets to investigate allegation 

The Rivers State Command of the Nigerian Prisons service has denied the alleged extortion of inmates’ relatives by Staff of the Service in Port Harcourt prisons. 

The state Command in a statement said that it is clear that “VISIT IS FREE”, and is boldly written and pasted at various points of the Prison visit area, including the official phone line for complaints to the National Headquarters, but no visitor has however made any complaints of extortion to the Officer in charge of the Prison or the Controller of Prisons, Rivers State Command.

..insist that inmates welfare is paramount

The statement signed by the Command Public Relations Officer, Assistant Superintendent of Prisons (ASP) AJ Ofoni said that Inmates welfare is paramount to the service as such visit from Inmates friends and relatives are encouraged to foster their relationship. 

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ASP Ofoni maintained that while investigations are ongoing in order to determine the veracity of the allegations, members of the public are advised to use the platform provided for lodging complaints where necessary. 

..gave out telephone numbers for inquiry 

He gave some telephone numbers for contact and report of any possible request by staff, which are 07087086005 0r 08075050006 and further reassured that visit to Prisoners is free and would continue to be encouraged.

..extortion ranges from N800 to N1000

It will interest you to know that Punch newspapers some days ago reported that one of the RELATIVES and friends of inmates at the Port Harcourt Maximum Prison had lamented the level of extortion within the facility by jail wardens and officers.

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The report indicated that to visit an inmate one must be ready to part with between N800 and N1, 000.

….100 years old prison now houses 5000 inmates 

“The Port Harcourt prison was built in 1918, meaning it will be 100 years old this 2019. 

The 100-year-old prison which was originally built to accommodate 800 inmates now holds 5000 inmates, which 3700 of the inmates have been awaiting trial for over five years, based on official report about the prison.

The reported allegation showed that the Harcourt Maximum Prison, had been extorting money from inmates relatives for a long time, which shows that the authorities might likely be aware of what is happening.

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