+ What her cell looks like
AS authorities of Nigerian Prisons Services press for the transfer of convicted Oceanic Bank’s ex-MC, Mrs. Cecilia Ibru to Kirikiri Prisons, she is now living in fear of what she would face in prison cell. ENCOMIUM Weekly brings you the kind of life she would live when she finally goes there. We pieced this exclusive information from Ikoyi and Kirikiri Prisons, which should have been Ibru’s new abode if not for her ill-health. She was jailed by Justice Dan Abutu on a two-count charge of fraud and abuse of office and was also made to forfeit N191 billion to the government.
WHY SHE HAS NO BUSINESS WITH IKOYI PRISONS
Although several media reports claimed that Justice Dan Abutu ordered that Mrs. Cecilia Ibru be moved to Ikoyi Prisons after her conviction, there is no way the disgraced former bank chief would serve her jail term there. The reason is simple: Ikoyi Prisons, on Akanbi Damilola Street, off Alhaji Ribadu Road, South West Ikoyi, Lagos, is only for men. The only prison that boasts of a women’s wing is Kirikiri Maximum Security Prisons in Apapa, Lagos.
THE WOMEN WING OF KIRIKIRI PRISONS
There is hardly a single cell here as is the case in the main prison. Cells are rather shared between four and eight people, depending on the convict’s status. The worst fear of a new convict is living with hardened criminals as well as infection, given the deplorable condition of some of the cells. Those close to Mrs. Ibru say this has given her a serious cause for concern. It is even affecting her constantly rising blood pressure (BP).
THE N600 PER DAY PRISON FOOD
Nigerian Prisons’ inmates currently live on a flat meal rate of N200. It was this poor quality of food that PDP chieftain, Chief Bode George, serving a two-year sentence in Kirikiri Prisons, out-rightly rejected. His wife, Roli and some of his family members rather bring food for him. And considering Mrs. Ibru’s status and lifestyle, which is far upscale, she won’t find this funny. The former bank ‘thief’ is already used to living big and enjoying any food money can buy anywhere in the world. Now, she either lives on the funds of the Federal Government, courtesy of their N200 per meal or bring in her food, but subject to the approval of Nigerian Prisons Services’ authorities.
Mrs. Ibru would certainly miss her sweet home where she lives like a queen. The Very Important Prisoner (VIP) would equally be longing for the royal Reddington treat, where she has everything at her beck and call.
WHEN AND HOW CECILIA IBRU WOULD RECEIVE HER VISITORS
Unlike when she was almost identified as the amazon of Nigerian banking, Mrs. Ibtu now has little or no choice about who visits her. It is actually the prisons authority that approves who sees her in Kirikiri. From our findings, she only has from 10 a.m to 2 p.m to receive her guests. And prison rules say her visitors must apply to the authorities before they will have access to her. Another irritating clause is that she can’t receive food or cash except through the Prison’s Record or Welfare Officer, while her guest must surrender themselves first at the prison gate for routine search.
ABOUT HER PRISON NUMBER AND UNIFORM
Still not made official since she has not been moved to any prison yard, Ibru’s prison number is still shrouded in secrecy. We, however, scooped she would be occupying cell No. 1850 at Kirikiri Maximum Security Prisons. As for her uniform, that would be measured and tailored to match her depreciating frame the very day she is discharged from Reddington, the multi-specialist hospital. Where she is still receiving treatment for serious cardiac-related ailment.
According to her counsel, Prof. Femi Osipitan (SAN), Mrs. Ibru, who has been sick for three months, has serious cardiac ailment. In addition, she has congestive heart failure and chronic hypertension of lower extremities.
WHAT WOULD HAVE HAPPENED TO HER IN PRISON
Mrs. Cecilia Ibru’s health would have been in serious jeopardy if not for the medical intervention Justice Dan Abutu approved for her following her lawyers plea for leniency. On multiple-life threatening ailments that include hypertension and heart-related diseases, she even fainted twice on the day of her sentence. Medical experts say her health might worsen if she is not given the kind of medical attention she is currently receiving at Reddington. The critical public is, however, frowning at her special privilege, when viewed against the N190 million she stole.
This story was first published in Encomium Weekly on Tuesday, October 26, 2010