Boko Haram detainees: Anambra leaders want them out of Ekwulobia Prison

Ekwulobia Prisons: where Boko Haram detainees are being kept

The Presidents-General of the Anambra Community on Tuesday urged the Federal Government to relocate the 47 Boko Haram suspects transferred to Ekwulobia Prisons in Aguata Local Government of the state.

The 177 community leaders, under the aegis of Anambra State Association of Town Unions (ASATU), made the call at a protest rally in Awka. Christian leaders and elected representatives of the eastern states have also called for the movement of the detainees to another prison.

The protesters who moved round the capital city carried placards with various inscriptions.

Some of the inscriptions read “we need peace, not Boko Haram’’, “Ekwulobia Prison is not a maximum prison’’, “Ekwulobia Prison is just behind Federal Polytechnic Oko’’, among others.

Mr Jap Okoro, the President of ASATU, said the decision to transfer the prisoners to the state was not in the best interest of the people in the area.

He pointed out that there was no military formation there to forestall any case of jail break.

Okoro said the courts in Anambra also do not have jurisdiction to try the inmates for their offences as they were still awaiting trial.

He then urged the Federal Government to rescind the decision by taking urgent steps to relocate the detainees outside Anambra and the entire South East.

“The Ekwulobia prison is a minimum security prison located in the middle of a densely populated community, surrounded by tertiary institutions and therefore grossly inadequate for such inmates of high security risk.

“Why should they be brought here? There is no military presence, in case of the recurrent emergence of prison breaks associated with Boko Haram insurgents and detainees.

“We, Presidents-General of the 177 communities in Anambra, therefore urge the Federal Government to rescind this decision and take immediate steps to relocate these detainees outside Anambra state and indeed the entire South East.’’