Prison Authorities in Ogwashi Uku Prison, Delta State are being accused of negligence which has led to the death of almost 10,000 inmates since 2013 as explained by Ada Mazi.
One Smart Ohuzu, a prisoner awaiting trial, was reported to have died on 25th September owing to the fact that the officers ignored pleas from other inmates to take Smart to the hospital.
The young man was remanded in Prison by a Delta State Magistrate Court and two months while in custody, he has been sick.
In the morning, Smart Ohuzu collapsed and Prison Authorities called on the cell leader to gather ₦5000 from cell mates so they can transport him to Ogwashi Uku General hospital.
The poor prisoners contributed money and some even contributed ₦10 while others contributed ₦50 and they were able to raise a total of ₦3,500 eventually and now left with an outstanding ₦1,500 which then got the prison officers angry and refused to take Smart Ohuzu to hospital.
Inmates who saw Smart Ohuzu on the floor struggling, rush back to the cell and one inmate was said to have given out the ₦1,500 to enable officers take Smart Ohuzu to the Hospital and was later rushed to Ogwashi Uku General hospital after they have collected the money contributed.
Upon getting to the hospital, the doctors treated him and referred them to Federal Medical Center or Okwe General Hospital and complained that they will stop accepting inmates from Ogwashi Uku Prison as they are always bringing inmates for treatment at the point of death.
The officers, instead of taking Smart Ohuzu to the hospital the doctor referred them, with chains on his leg they led him into the Green Maria (Black Maria) and took him back to the prison yard complaining of man-power.
Smart Ohuzu was then chained and left in the cold, struggled and died with tears in his eyes, three hours after he was forcefully brought back into the prison yard.
The inmates could not complain because if they do, they either change their cell or punish them.
A group of Young Nigerians which is made up of ex-Awaiting Trial Prisoners, Behind Bars Intervention, are now demanding that health centers be built in all the prison especially Ogwashi Uku Prison, Delta State and that Minister of Interior and/or the Controller General of Prisons to write/sign and put up a sign post in each prison in Nigeria stating “VISIT IS FREE” just the way they have “Bail Is Free In Police stations and Court amongst other demands.
They however recommended that the top prison officers who uses this prison to enrich themselves and put innocent prisoners to death be sacked and the Minister of Interior/Controller General partner with other stakeholders to decongest the prison, declare Health Emergency in all the Prisons now or Shut down Ogwashi Uku Prison.
If nothing is done, the group has promised to lawfully gather 4,250 families of those in Delta Prison for a Nationwide Peaceful protest and if the allegations are considered false, the mouthpiece for the group, Prince Gwamnishu Harrison asked to be taken to the court.