Why I Preferred Prison To Police Detention BY AGBA JALINGO

In Breaking News, Opinion
IN THIS PHOTO: CrossRiverWatch publisher and rights activist, Citizen Agba Jalingo raises both hands outside the Medium Custodial Center of the Nigerian Correctional Service in Calabar, the Cross River State capital (popularly referred to as Afokang prison) to celebrate his release after 179 days in detention following his admission to bail by Justice Sule Shuaibu of the Calabar Division of the Federal High Court. 17/2/2020. Credit: CrossRiverWatch/Oto-Obong Clement
  1. In prison, there is an open-out by 9 am. You can come out from your cell and walk around the prison yard which is usually a big compound, till lock-up time by 5 pm.
  1. In prison, like Kuje, you have a small bed to lay your head.
  1. In prison, you have a bathroom and a toilet, no matter how dirty. The strict rules in prison cells will always ensure someone keeps it usable.
  1. In prison, you can bathe and change clothes. Very few police stations have that ‘luxury.’
  1. In prison, there are sporting facilities to keep fit. For instance, in Kuje, I played volleyball. We also had football, table tennis, and many table games like chess, scrabble, ludo, monopoly, etc to play.
  1. In prison, you have a church and a mosque. You are allowed to go there and pray. They only haven’t thought about traditionalists like us.
  1. In prison, your visitors are allowed to sit in the visiting area and see you for at least 15 min. In the police Station, whoever is lucky to see you will just stand by the cell gate.
  1. In prison, you have government food three times daily. The food is always very horribly though, but Kuje’s own was manageable. I even ate it once.
  1. In prison, there is an inmates welfare department where you can make calls to your family, friends, and lawyers and the welfare officers are usually very cautious.
  1. Because of the size of the prison and the number of inmates, you have the space to sneak around and do so many other things that you can’t do in a police cell. I won’t mention any of that here.

These things don’t happen in your regular Police detention.

Now you see why I preferred prison ba?

Yours sincerely,

Citizen Agba Jalingo is the Publisher of CrossRiverWatch and a rights activist, a Cross Riverian, and writes from Lagos.

NB: Opinions expressed in this article are strictly attributable to the author, Agba Jalingo, and do not represent the opinion of CrossRiverWatch or any other organization the author works for/with.

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