23rd August, 2010
Mr. Abayomi Oguntuase, the Lagos State Controller of Prisons, says several inmates and their accomplices have been arrested for drug peddling.
Oguntuase, who disclosed this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Sunday in Lagos, said that those arrested had been handed over to the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) for prosecution.
He did not give the number of those arrested and when they were arrest but said that the issue of drug peddling in prisons remained a problem.
“Prison inmates and people from outside are involved in trafficking or consumption of drugs such as Indian hemp. It is an organised crime.
“We will continue to mount surveillance on them and be on their trail. Most of them are soldiers, policemen and Nigerians who have lived abroad.
“We have made several arrests and handed them over to the NDLEA,â€™â€™ Oguntuase said.
The prison chief said that adequate measures had been introduced to check such crimes.
As a panacea to the drug problem, Oguntuase disclosed that social and religious activities had been introduced for the inmates for emotional and psychological balance.
He added: “To check drug trafficking and give them some stability emotionally, social and religious programmes are being organised for them.â€
On alleged cases of sexual harassments by prison officials, Oguntuase denied that no such incident had been recorded in the state or in any part of the country.
“No official will do it; it is regarded as dreadful as it leads to outright dismissal. It is not true that our officials harass female inmates,â€™â€™ he said.
Oguntuase said that five of the inmates in female prisons in the state were pregnant, and that the pregnancies were brought from outside “as we expose them to pregnancy tests.â€™â€™
He said that eight babies had been delivered and that such children were usually taken to orphanages “if the relations of the inmates refuse to accept them after they are 18 months old.”