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My Life Is In Danger, Osun Indigene In Lagos Prison Cries Out

My Life Is In Danger, Osun Indigene In Lagos Prison Cries Out
  • PublishedSeptember 9, 2022


  • Accuses DCP Of Demanding N50,000 Accommodation Fee

Yusuf Oketola

A 27-year-old indigene of Oyan, Odo-Otin local government of the State of Osun, Segun Olowookere, who is on death sentence at Kirikiri Maximum Security Custodial Centre, Lagos State, has called on authority of the Nigeria Correctional Service and well-meaning Nigerians to come to his aid.

Olowookere claimed that his life was in danger at the custodial centre.

The inmate accused a Deputy Controller of Corrections of the Custodial Centre, Mr. Mike Okorie, of threatening his life due to his inability to fulfill some financial obligations he demanded from him.

According to Olowookere, Okorie demanded a sum of N50,000 from him in May this year after he returned to the Kirikiri custodial centre from Ibara maximum custodial centre, Abeokuta, Ogun State. 

He further alleged that since Okorie was transferred to Kirikiri Custodial Centre in 2020, he has been frustrating him because of his agitation for the welfare of fellow inmates.

Olowookere was arrested when he was 16-year-old alongside one other convict, Sunday Morakinyo, in Oyan for robbing a policeman attached to Divisional Police Headquarters, Okuku, Mr. Tope Balogun, in April, 2010, of two fowls and eggs.

Both Olowookere and Morakinyo were convicted and sentenced to death in December 2014 by Justice Jide Falola of the State of Osun High Court, sitting in Okuku then. 

But in his judgment, Falola recommended that the Governor of the state could decide to commute the death sentence to 10 years imprisonment, considering the age of the convicts then.

The second convict, Morakinyo who is also on death row at Ibara Maximum Prison, Abeokuta, is said to be battling with mental challenges and have been abandoned by his family.

Olowookere spoke with OSUN DEFENDER on telephone through his girlfriend, Bukola Okewande, who paid him a visit at the prison few weeks ago in Lagos.

The case was also reported to an Osun based non-governmental organisation, Monsurat Ajoke Foundation by Okewande.

Speaking further on the allegation, Okewande said Olowookere is the spokesperson of inmates at the Kirikiri custodial centre, and has been agitating for welfare of the fellow inmates, a development that did not go down well with Okorie.

Okewande alleged that Okorie maliciously transferred Olowookere to Ibara Maximum Prison, Abeokuta in 2021 because of his activism. 

According to her, Olowookere returned to Kirikiri custodial centre in May this year. 

She alleged that Okorie demanded a sum of N50,000 as accommodation charges from Olowooke or he will be transferred to an unknown custodial centre.

The disturbed girlfriend claimed that Olowookere’s family and fellow inmates raised a sum of N30,000 which was paid to Okorie in July this year.

According to Okewande, Okorie was demanding for the payment of N20,000 balance for him. 

Olowookere, while conversing with OSUN DEFENDER on telephone through Okewande, said: “Mike Okorie resumed at the Kirikiri Maximum Security Prison in 2020 as the Deputy Controller of the prison. When he got here, he started some bad policies that were not existing before.

“He started by saying that anybody that wanted to go to church have to pay certain amount of money.

“We told him that this was not the way things were before his arrival. He usually brought inmate that does not have money to offer him to our own cell where we have condemned prisoners.

“In 2021, I was chosen as the spokesperson among all other inmates here. One particular day, I was among some people who were chosen to go and speak to the DCP. I made him to realise he was not behaving well to the inmates. 

“I told him we were not happy on his policy of collecting N3000 from our (prisoners’) relatives who came to visit us. If our relatives do not have money, the inmates will be forced to pay the N3000. That is the minimum amount; some pay N10,000. 

“I told him that I have related with 13 different DCPs in the custodial centre, none of them treated us like this.

“From that time, he has been harsh on me. He even locked me up. He questioned my audacity to challenge him. He sees me as an obstacle to make money since that time. 

“The next thing he did was to transferr me out of this Maximum Prison to Ibara Prison at Abeokuta. He stopped my education and all other activities I was doing inside the prison.

“After a year at Ibara Prison, they brought me back to Kirikiri so that I can continue my education. When I reached there, the DCP (Okorie) was shocked; he told me that if I wanted to go back to the cell, I have to pay N50,000.

“I told him I did not have the money and he should let me be and serve my jail term. I told him to remember that I am a condemned inmate; how do you expect me to have access to money? 

“Later, I arranged N30,000 from my family and some other inmates here and I gave it to him, and he collected it.

“Since then, he has been threatening me because of the remaining N20,000 balance. He said he would report me to the commissioner. People are advising me to look for the money because he can do and undo. 

“When I could no longer bear his threat, I started asking some officers to beg him on my behalf. I am the only child of my dad and mom, I don’t have any siblings. Did he want to kill me before government hangs me to death?

“It got to a state that I packed all my belongings to the entrance of the prison gate, telling him to transfer me to wherever he wants. I’m fed up. He should stop disturbing me and pestering my life. 

“He collected N700,000 from one inmate on death roll and put only him in a room with Air Condition, which supposed not to be.”  

Reacting to the allegations, the Public Relations Officer, Kirikiri Maximum Custodial Centre, Mr. Rotimi Oladokun, said Olowookere’s claims were malicious and far from the truth. 

Oladokun said: “This allegation had earlier been investigated and found to be baseless, malicious and without merit. The concerned inmate even denied/disowned such claims/allegation.

“Transfer of inmates is within the prerogative of the Nigerian Correctional Service and such transfer are usually done on security or humanitarian grounds.

“Also, the NCoS is statutory responsible for providing secure custody of inmates in its custodial centers and ensuring that their(inmates) welfare is adequately catered to.”

When asked the period or year Olowookere’s allegation was investigated as reported, Oladokun said: “Due to confidential and privy concern, I am not in a position to comment on the period.”

The PRO was also asked why the inmate would make the same allegation against the same person when he had earlier ‘denied/disowned’ as stated, and Oladokun responded that: “The said inmate will be in a position to know, as I stated earlier, the allegation is malicious.”

OSUN DEFENDER gathered that Olowookere’s sentence had been appeal by his family. The appeal is pending at the Court of Appeal, Akure.

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