EFCC denies online media report on Port Harcourt detention facility

Head, Port Harcourt Zonal office of the Economic and Financial Crime Commission, EFCC, Imam Usman

From Blessing Ibunge, Port Harcourt

The Port Harcourt Zonal office of the Economic and Financial Crime Commission, EFCC, has denied report by an online media, claiming that its detention facility at the head office in Port Harcourt is overcrowded, an open cell and that the detainees are being maltreated by officials of the Commission.

The Head of the Zonal office, Usman Imam while briefing newsmen on Wednesday in his office, said the report is fake, that the promoter of the story is out for a mischief.

The EFCC Zonal boss who took Journalists round the cell said that its cell which is a stand alone facility has no close proximity to any building as described in the purported online media report and it has only 19 detainees.

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

He said “The picture of detainees crammed into an open air cell purported to belong to the EFCC Zonal office in Port Harcourt is fake. The images are strange to us. We do not have an open cell, our cell is a stand alone facility with no close proximity to any storey building; we have never had large inmates that the cell could not accommodate, and we have no history of mistreatment of detainees”.

“We have never had large inmates that we cannot accommodate . We have no history of mal-treatment 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 are 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 base on medical ground he was released.”

He said that suspects being tried by the Commission preferred to be reminded in EFCC custody instead of the prison custody, “If the Commission had been abusing the rights of detainees, they would not prefer its facility to prison”, he added.

Imam further stated 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 insists 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 patner with the Commission in its fight against corruption in the country.

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