There are indications that the Peoples Democratic Party spokesman, Olisa Metuh, is being kept in a prison cell where financial scammers and those who had committed frauds were being held.
It was learnt that Metuh, who was remanded at the Kuje Prisons, Abuja on the order of a Federal High Court, was isolated from other awaiting trial inmates to protect him from being harmed.
The prison officers were also keeping a tight watch over him to prevent any foul play, it was also learnt.
The court had on Tuesday granted the PDP chieftain bail over a seven-count charge of corruption, but he had yet to meet the bail conditions.
Less than 48 hours after, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission on Thursday morning slammed a fresh two-count charge on him before Justice Ishaq Bello of the FCT High Court over attempt by the politician to destroy a confessional statement made to its operatives.
Sources said that the prison authorities usually isolate high profile inmates from other criminals who had committed violent offences like armed robbery, murder and other heinous crimes.
It was gathered that the prison authorities were following the standard laid down protocol in Metuh’s case by shielding him from violent inmates who could attack him at night.
The source further explained that Metuh had not been eating prison food, adding that he had made arrangement for his feeding, which he said was allowed.
A source said, “The prisons service has a standard procedure they follow when it comes to high profile inmates or VIP detainees as you call them. One, we don’t allow them to mix with other inmates for safety reason. Secondly, we don’t keep them in crowded cells, but they are kept with those who may have committed a similar offence or offences.
“In Metuh’s case, we are observing the same protocol; he is being held in a cell where people who had committed similar offences were being kept, that is, those who did not commit violent or capital crimes and we are keeping a serious watch over him to prevent any foul play.”
When asked if the prison service was giving Metuh special treatment, the Nigeria Prisons Service Public Relations Officer, Francis Enobore, said all inmates were treated fairly and equally, stressing that “there is no VIP treatment for anyone in prison custody.”
He said that Metuh like any inmate involved in a high profile criminal case, was kept with inmates who had allegedly committed similar offences, adding that this is according to laid down criteria in the prison system.
Enobore said, “When an inmate is brought to the prison, the age, criminal records and type of offence he committed are considered before we place him in a cell. When VIPs are sent to us, we isolate them from criminals who are in prison on account of violent offences like armed robbery, murder and other heinous crimes.
“We send them to a cell that houses people of similar offence record. We do what is called classification and this is according to laid down criteria. And what are the criteria? Age comes to play here, criminal record is considered and the type of offence. We try to group people.”