Charles Okah Sues FG, Wants Conjugal Visits Allowed In Prison

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Charles Okah, the suspected architect and mastermind of the 1st October, 2010 bombing, has sued the Federal Government for violation of the human rights of the inmates of Kuje Maximum Security Prison, Abuja. In line with that, Mr. Okah also prayed the court to impel the government to pay him the sum of N350 million as damages for supposedly violating his fundamental human rights.

Acording to Premium Times, the reliefs sought by the applicant, Mr. Charles Okah includes that;

  1. The declaration that the failure of the respondents to respond to the letter of a prison inmate is a breach of fundamental right.
  2. A declaration that his detention in solitary confinement without a charge and a valid court order breached his fundamental right.
  3. A declaration that the refusal of the respondents to return the intellectual property seized from him without compensation is a breach of his fundamental right.
  4. A declaration that the refusal of the respondents to allow for conjugal visits to the prison breached the fundamental right of both convicted and awaiting trial inmates.
  5. A declaration that the failure of the prison authorities to allow him access the welfare office at the prison to make calls to his family abroad violates his fundamental right.

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Mr. Charles Okah further opposed the inability of prison authorities to stop illegitimate sex trade and drug trafficking by prison warders at Kuje Prison and sought a declaration that the acts violated the rights of awaiting trial and convicted inmates at the prison.

He also opposed the selective handcuff of prison inmates based on their status, saying the act is discriminatory and a breach of the fundamental rights of inmates.

Mr. Okah therefore, sought an order of the court to among other things:

Compel the respondents to recognise the fundamental right of awaiting trial and convicted inmates in the prison;

Compel the respondents to forthwith introduce conjugal visits in Kuje Prison as applicable in other parts of the world;



Compel the respondents to release his intellectual property which were seized by the prison authority since January 6;

Compel the respondents to ban illicit sex trade and drug trafficking by prison warders as well as stop all discriminatory practices in the prison.

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The case was registered by Timipa Okponipere, his lawyer,on February 15, 2016 and also joined in the suit are Federal Ministry of Interior and the Nigerian Prisons Service.

During the hearing of the October 1st bombing which began again on 22 February, Justice Kolawole declared that Charles Okah was unable to come to the court session because he was at the National Hospital, Abuja, going through a surgical operation.

Considering the absence of the suspect, the judge adjourned the case till March 10, and gave an order for Charles Okah to appear in court on the said date.

Meanwhile, in January 2016, the suspect went on hunger strike as a way of protesting his alleged ill-treatment by officials of Kuje Prison.

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