Our Port Harcourt Holding Cell not congested, a stand-alone building – EFCC

Lorine Emenike

The South-south zonal Coordinator of the Economic and Financial Crime Commission, EFCC, Usman Iman has denied an online media report that many suspects are clamped down in an open cell in its Port Harcourt office.

Usman Iman who was reacting to an online story which alleged that inmates at the EFCC Port Harcourt detention centre are clamped in a congested open cell and that the inmates are also maltreated said that the EFCC detention facility in Port Harcourt is standing on its own.

Iman who took Journalists round the cell said that its cell which is a stand-alone facility has no close proximity to any building and has only 19 inmates.

He said that the suspects at its detention facility are not maltreated in any way, adding that most of its suspects preferred to stay in its facility instead of being detained at the prison custody.

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He said that there is no iota of truth in the online story saying that the purveyor of the story is out for mischief.

He said “The objective of this briefing is to correct the wrong impression about our detention facility as was erroneously presented by a blogger with the picture of detainees clamped in an open cell purportedly to be EFCC detention cell in Port Harcourt. The pictures and images are strange, they are fake.

“We will like to state that we don’t have an open-cell. Our facility here is standing alone. We do not have an open-cell. Our cell is a stand-alone facility and it has no close proximity to any building. We have never had large inmates that we cannot accommodate. We have no history of maltreatment of those that are being detained. Those detained in our facility are fed three times daily and have access to medical facilities and their Lawyers.

“This can also be confirmed by the existing clinic within the premises and the canteen. It is important to place on record that the same contractor that provides food in our canteen is the same people contracted to provide food for our detainees. It is also on record that we are having retainership with the police medical facility. Where our clinic is unable to handle an issue, that issue is referred to the hospital.

“Last week, we had a detainee who complained of appendicitis. He was referred to the police hospital and the hospital confirmed it even when he had a remand warrant but based on the medical ground he was released.”

He said that suspects being tried by the Commission prefer to be remanded in EFCC custody instead of the prison custody.

Iman noted that the Commission had in recent time filed a process in the court to allow its suspects to be remanded in prison custody, saying that Lawyers to the suspects always insist that their clients should be remanded in EFCC custody.

He warned that there will be no hiding place for criminals under his watch in the Port Harcourt Zonal Command and called on the media to partner with the Commission in its fight against corruption in the country.