Inmates of the Abakaliki prison in Ebonyi state on Friday, December 16, protested the ban of Indian hemp by the prison authorities. It was gathered that the inmates calmed down after the state Comptroller of Prisons (CP), Adaobi Oputa, held a meeting with their leaders.

Prison officials had to seal off the FMC Road leading to the prisons, Premium Times reports. Speaking to newsmen on the situation, Oputa said the inmates were agitating the stoppage of Indian hemp and other contraband goods in the prison.

“I call it agitation. I was in the office when I was called that the inmates are agitating, asking for this, asking for that; and I rushed there and asked them to select two representatives from each cell let me hear from them because we have a way we operate,” Mrs. Oputa said.

She said: “After listening, I discovered some of the things they are agitating for. They are agitating for Indian hemp to be allowed inside their cells and we have stopped that. Secondly, they are asking to be opened out to the prison yard the way they want, even for churches. But you know they are many; 950 inmates and we have rules and regulations which I have told them.

“We cannot open them the way they want. They want to choose their provost the way they want. I told them I will come and conduct election for a provost. They are complaining of irrelevant things; they said they don’t want to see some staff. They even said they don’t want to see the Deputy Comptroller of Prison (DCP) and I told them I cannot appoint a DCP. The agitation is normal because the congestion is much.”

The CP said that the incident was under control, adding that prison officers only cordoned off the area as a mere precaution.

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