Port Harcourt – Mr Babalola Ogundana, the Controller, Rivers State Command of the Nigerian Prisons, said on Thursday that wardens under his command were not responsible for the impregnation of female inmates.
Ogundana told reporters in an interview in Port Harcourt that the affected expectant female prisoners were pregnant before their imprisonments. Investigation reveals that most female inmates in the state prisons are at different stages of pregnancy.
The controller said that male wardens were not allowed to visit the female section of the prison without being accompanied by a female warder. According to him, "That allegation is not possible because all of them [female inmates] were pregnant before they got to the prison. When female inmates come in prison, we subject them to test to confirm if they are pregnant or not."
"Those that are pregnant, we cannot reject them because they are pregnant. Once they are brought by a valid warrant of incarceration, we have to accept them. It is not possible because at no time will a male staff be with a female prisoner without a female staff."
On reports that some female inmates were sometimes smuggled outside the prison walls for sexual orgies with male wardens and their clients, Ogundana said the allegation was "false and untrue" as the command always conducted a headcount of inmates in prison cells.
"It is not possible because the warder knows that if caught in the act, the penalty is severe and so no staff will dare do it; this is a mere allegation. If it is for medical purpose, it has to be certified by a medical doctor and in Port Harcourt prison. We have two doctors and there are a lot of nurses."
On children, who were delivered in prison, Ogundana said that such children were usually sent to their relatives after 18 months of bing nursed by their mothers in the prison. According to him, in cases where there are no relation to accept the child, they usually hand them over to orphanage homes.