VIP treatment of Lebanese terror suspects: Prisoners protest

By The Rainbow

Prisoners at the Kuje Prisons near Abuja   on Thursday staged a protest against the  alleged preferential treatment of three Lebanese inmates by officials of the  facility.

The protest took place just as the  Defence Headquarters said that over 1,000 suspected members of the Islamist militant group, Boko Haram,  were   in  detention facilities in the country.

Their grouse: the Lebanese prisoners - Mustapha Fawaz, Abdallah Thahani and Talal Ahmed Rodo -were allegedly allowed to use a particular section of the prison ground for the Eid-fitri prayers while other inmates,  including Boko Haram suspects,  were restricted to another place.

The Lebanese who are believed to be  members of an  international terrorist group, Hezbollah,

are standing trial  at a Federal High Court, Abuja, for terrorism and illegal importation of firearms.

According to reports, the prisoners destroyed some amenities, including water pipes,  electric cables and cell windows.

The angry inmates, according to the reports,  also splashed water on some of the prison officials  who ran  for their  safety.

The  Lebanese suspects were remanded in the prison on August 2, 2013 based on an application by their lawyer, Ahmed Raji(SAN), who claimed that  they were no longer comfortable in the custody of the State Security Service.

The court had granted the application and the suspects were promptly transferred to Kuje Prisons.

The Prisons Public Relations Officer, Ope Fatinikun, claimed  that the protest  had nothing to do with the Lebanese inmates.

He added that it was caused by two groups struggling to use a particular place for the Eid-fitri worship.

'I don't want to give anybody names, but the incident was caused by two groups (of inmates) who wanted to use a particular place for their  prayers;  but the situation has been brought under control. We talked to them and they  saw  reason with us, 'he said.