Officials of Kuje Prisons were, on Thursday night, thrown into panic for over one hour after it was discovered that Mr. Charles Okah, a leader of the Movement for the Emancipation of Niger Delta (MEND), could not be found in his cell by warders on the night shift at about 8 pm. .
According to Saharareporters, the situation led to a frantic search. While prison officials were searching in panic, Okah was lying under his bed and had propped a dummy on his bed. .
Okah was said to have taken the action because of prison officials’ refusal to take him to the National Hospital, Abuja, where he was scheduled to run a battery of medical tests.
Sources revealed that the Comptroller of Prisons, FCT Command, Mr. Sylvester Nwakuche, received a text message from the DSS informing him that a man that looks like Mr. Okah was sighted boarding a vehicle at Gwagwalada.
The Comptroller contacted the Officer in Charge of Kuje Prison to confirm if Mr. Okah was still in custody. Oofficers rushed to Mr. Okah’s cell (Number 6), where they were relieved to see a man sleeping and left to report to the Comptroller. .
They, however, did not ascertain if it was the MEND leader that was sleeping. Not satisfied, the Comptroller asked them to return to the cell, where they discovered that sleeping figure they assumed to be Mr. Okah, was a dummy in a sleeping position.
They also found a note from Mr.Okah, which he addressed to the Comptroller-General of the Nigeria Prisons Service, which led to further panic. Okah later emerged from under the bed to chide them for responding promptly to news of an escape but were reluctant to take him to hospital. .
Before the drama, Okah, who is detained for allegedly masterminding the 1 October 2010 bombing in Abuja, had complained that the Kuje Prison authorities were treating complaints about his health with levity. .
The prison physician, Dr. Osakwe, said he had applied to the authorities in vain to make arrangements for transportation and security to convey him and others to referral hospitals.