The Nigerian Correctional Service, Akwa Ibom Command has denied reports that Inibehe Effiong, a human rights lawyer and activist has been tortured while in its custody.
Effiong was sentenced to one month in jail for contempt by the chief judge of Akwa Ibom State, Ekaette Obot last month.
He was serving time at the Ikot Ekpene Correctional Centre where he had spent two weeks before being transferred to Uyo Correctional Centre for the remaining weeks.
But reports had alleged that Effiong was tortured, manhandled and had his hair and beards forcefully shaven.
But in a statement by the command and signed by its spokesperson, Richard Meeting, it described such reports as fake and baseless.
The statement read in part, the “command is constrained to state that this news is fake, baseless and an attempt by mischief makers to drag the corporate image of the Service to the mud. The general public is hereby advised to ignore, discard and disregard the fake news as this is a product of rumour mongers and attention seekers.
“For the purpose of clarity, Inibehe Effiong is safe, secured, unhurt and not tortured or humiliated. His dignity and human right are not violated in anyway.
The human right lawyer was committed to a one month imprisonment in Uyo Custodial Centre by the Chief Judge of Akwa Ibom State for contempt.
“As part of the efforts by the Service to prioritise the health and welfare of the inmates in custody and in adherence to the Covid-19 protocol, all inmates, upon remand or conviction, are isolated for a period of fourteen (14) days at the Isolation Block in Ikot Ekpene Custodial Centre before they are transferred to any custodial centre in the state to which they are sentenced.
“Inibehe Effiong, upon completion of his 14 days isolation period in Ikot Ekpene, was transferred to Uyo Custodial Centre on Wednesday 10th August 2022 where he is to serve the remaining part of his term as indicated in his warrant.
“Prior to the transfer, he was duly informed and was assisted by the officers of the service who escorted him to the waiting van in which he was peacefully conveyed to Uyo Custodial Centre. On arrival at Uyo, he was duly admitted into the facility and was also informed of the need to cut his hair and beards as a security measure as well as a routine practice in the facility which he obliged and willingly allowed the barber using a clipper and not a blunt instrument as speculated on the social media.
“The Controller of Corrections hereby wishes to express the unflinching commitment of the Command to maintain and uphold the human right, dignity and well-being of the inmates, officers and men of the service in Akwa Ibom State.
He also called on the stakeholders, civil society and the general public “to collaborate with the Service to fully deliver on her mandates of safe, secure and humane custody as well as providing security to the society.”