Going through the horrors of visiting your loved one either Awaiting Trial inmate or a convicted felon is like passing through Police Checking Points where you pay unapproved levies. At each point the Prison officials will tell you “Oga pay me N100 and go to the next check-point “. And if you query why you should pay money when it is boldly written on the Gate of the Port Harcourt maximum when “Visit is Free”, you will be reminded with another query “Oga, when last did you come here?”., meaning that there is a routine of dropping money at each check-point contrary to the instruction displayed by the overall boss at the Port Harcourt Maximum Deputy-Comptroller of Prison. First from the main Gate the Security men will tell “When you are coming back keep our money”.
Then when you approach the 2nd Check point for recording purpose of the Prison inmate who you want to visit and drop your electronic gadgets you are asked to pay N100 with identification name bearing your identity and that of the prison inmates that you want to see, should you be more than one person you must be compelled to pay per head of visitor. The 3rd Check point is where you are screened by a prison officer who will frisk you up to your pants searching for solid materials or liquid. Those carried Garri, raw yam, bread and other foodstuff were seen on Wednesday 7th, March, 2018 when a team of Towncrier.ng paid visit to Port Harcourt Maximum Prison which has 4,703 inmates with 101 inmates having Court appearance on that day, about 7 Prison inmates were taken to hospital on the aforementioned date as boldly written inside the wooden official bulletin displayed on the wall behind the Desk Counter. Here too, you pay to the officer in charge of the counter who issues you with a wooden tally the sum of N150 per head of each visitor if you request for change the officials will happily give it to you.
If you think that you have come to the end of paying tolls wait until you enter into the Visitors’ Room which has a long wooden seat popularly called bench with a table as most visitors which attracts another payment of N150 per Visitor. There you will be assigned to a guardian to take you to another inner visitors’ waiting room where the prison inmates will actually be brought to see you for discussion. After having a free chat in the presence of a Prison official you are meant to pay another set of tool this time to Prison inmates who must have helped you to facilitate for the final Check-point and on your way out from the premises those boys will rush you for payment saying-” Oga give us something nuaw at all at all naim bad pass”. This is the experience of average visitor but do not be disturbed if you are a very Important Person-VIP the prison officials will request for exclusive attention according the size of your pocket.