THE Nigerian Prison Service has said it will investigate claim by the arrested kidnap kingpin, Chukwudubem Onwuamadike also known as Evans, of a telephone conversation with an inmate in Port Harcourt prison to secure his freedom from the gangs.
Public Relations Officer of NPS, Mr Francis Enobore, who spoke with Saturday Tribune on telephone, said it was against the rules and regulation of the Service to allow an inmate have private telephone conversation.
He, however, said such claims by “a high profile” criminal should not be taken hook, line and sinker.
Evans, had while narrating his experience to police investigators, disclosed that he too was a victim of kidnapping but was set free by the gangs when a call was put to the leader of the kidnappers in a Port-Harcourt prison.
He revealed that the gangs of desperate kidnappers had trailed him from Nnewi, Anambra State, before abducting him close to Onitsha in the same state in 2015.
According to reports, when he got to a spot close to Onitsha, the gun-wielding gang intercepted and whisked him into their waiting car and took off towards Enugu–Onitsha express way.
“When they ended up at a hidden spot which I later knew was inside one of the riverside areas in Anambra State, they brought me out for interrogation.
“I boldly introduced myself as Evans. Initially, they were shocked but later they started looking at me with scepticism.
“I then asked them the name of their leader and after they reluctantly told me it was ND, short for Ndubisi; I informed them that he was serving a prison term at the Port-Harcourt prisons. That was when they started believing that I was the notorious Evans, widely known in crime circles.
“Nevertheless, they put a call to their leader in Port-Harcourt prison and as soon as they mentioned my name, he ordered them to take me back to where they picked me without delay.”
But the spokesman of the Prisons Service said even though inmates were given access to dedicated telephone line provided by the prison authorities, the use of private phones by inmates was not allowed in prison.
Enobore said: “The fact is, telephone as you may have known is one of the items not allowed for the prisoners to use while in custody. A prisoner is not allowed to have access to telephone in the prison.
“However, there is a dedicated line by the authority for the inmates to discuss with their relatives, or their lawyers or whoever they want to discuss with; that is within the ambit of the law.
“Such discussions are normally held in the dedicated line Office to the hearing of the officer supervising the inmates and the inmate must speak in the language that the supervising officer understands or they get somebody who understands the language to be there,” he said.