Muhammed Abubakar, Reporting
AbdulRasheed Maina, former Chairman of the Pension Reform Task team, has allegedly embarked on an indefinite hunger strike to protest the refusal of the leadership of the Kuje Correctional Centre to comply with doctors’ directives to allow him full medical/surgical services.
Stonix News recalled that Maina has been diagnosed with life-threatening ailments that require series of surgeries and routine visits to hospital.
Maina’s alleged commencement of a hunger strike was contained in a statement issued by the Secretary General of the West African Coalition for Social and Civil Rights, Comrade Patrick Akinfemi obtained on Monday evening in Kaduna.
According to Akinfemi, several SOS letters had been written to the Controller General by Dr Folorunsho, Dr Dahilo, Dr ojji as well as all senior consultants at the University of Abuja Teaching Hospital to reiterate the urgency of the situation, but the doctors’ directives and advice were ignored.
The statement reads in part: “Investigation also revealed that four Controllers of Correctional service, who happened to be Doctors also wrote to the CGs office on the urgency of the situation but he directed Maina’s lawyers to meet with the staff at the Headquarters of the correctional service, where Deputy Controller Generals and other high ranking officers said that they know that Maina’s situation is critical but that, their hands are tight.
“This situation suggest that there is a sinister plot being hatched by some yet to be identified personalities from outside in collaboration with some mischievous elements from within to ensure his health deteriorates irredeemably to the point of death.
“Also on record was the recent attempts to get him poisoned when his drink was laced with poisonous substances from yet to be identified source within the facility.
“No inmate should be held under this kind of near death situation, no inmate should be denied access to doctors and good medical facility since the KUJE Correctional facility does not have an equipped hospital to take care of his numerous illnesses.
The United Nations Human Rights General Assembly resolution 45/111 no(9) States that “Inmates, shall have access to the health services available in the country without discrimination on the grounds of their legal situation” Rule 27 of the United Nations Human Rights also states.
“Inmates shall have prompt access to medical attention in urgent cases. Inmates who require specialized treatment or surgery shall be transferred to specialized institutions or to civil hospitals.
“Where a Correctional facility has its own hospital facilities, they shall be adequately staffed and adequately equipped to provide inmates referred to them with appropriate treatment and care” Article 6 on the right to life also states that every human being has the inherent right to life.
“This right shall be protected by law. No one shall be arbitrarily deprived (Like in this case) of his life. This is a universal instrument that is binding on all Nations including Niger, the statement declared.
“A staff of the correctional service who claimed anonymity said that he saw Mr Maina during the week looking frail and sick because he has not been eating.
The statement alleged,” Food brought by his sister was left outside, he has also refused to even taking his drugs. The tumor which was growing other roots has reached his brain as blood continuously gushes out of his left ear from privileged medical sources.
“Efforts to speak to the Officer in charge of the facility proved abortive as the staff at the gate refused our staff access to the facility to see him.
These ugly developments are being watched with keen interest by various civil society organizations and human rights bodies and activists both within and without.
“Maina deserves all his constitutional rights to medical care unconditionally. This call also extends to other inmates that are also deprived of these rights, the statement advised.