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Secret prison in the jungle on Nigerian island

Sunday Alamba / AP

A man swalk past a sign post at the former prison known as Tekunle on Ita Oko Island outside of Lagos, Nigeria. The prison is cut out of the dense jungle that engulfs this island outside of Nigeria's largest city, but it never officially existed although many critics of the nation's military rule were kept here. Ita Oko Island allowed Nigeria's military governments to have opponents disappear into the swamps of the Lekki Lagoon at a camp accessible only by boat and helicopter.

Jon Gambrell / AP

A message on a wall at the prison on Ita Oka Island.

Sunday Alamba / AP

Associated Press team shields from rain as they travel to the former prison known as Tekunle on Ita Oko Island.

Sunday Alamba / AP

The remains of a burnt down part of a former prison known as Tekunle on Ita Oko Island outside of Lagos, Nigeria.

The Associated Press reports that anyone deemed a security risk by the government could be imprisoned:

Those deemed to be a major risk politically found themselves taken to Ita Oko by helicopter, where they worked on the farm and had no contact with the outside world, Agbakoba said. Even today, as the country has become a democracy with the guise of free information laws, it remains unclear how many inmates died on the prison island.

"It was abused by prison authorities," Agbakoba said. "If you misbehave, they said we'll send you as punishment to" the island.

In 1988, the wife of one inmate who discovered her husband had been sent there slipped a note to Nobel laureate Wole Soyinka. Soyinka was on the board of Agbakoba's Civil Liberties Organization, which later traveled to the island with a journalist from The Guardian newspaper who published a story exposing the prison. Authorities quickly closed the prison.

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