6 Inmates Killed in Abakaliki Jailbreak Attempt
The leadership of the Nigeria Prisons Service (NPS), yesterday confirmed speculations that six prisoners who attempted to escape from the Abakaliki Prisons when the facility came under attack last Thursday, by inmates , were shot dead by security operatives, but added that other inmates were intact.
A statement by the Service image maker, DCP Francis Enobore, disclosed that the Controller-General of Prisons, Ja’afaru Ahmed, who acknowledged the killing during a courtesy visit to the Governor of Ebonyi State, Abakaliki jailbreak, maintained that no prisoner escaped during the jailbreak.
The statement quoted him to have said, “Regrettably, at the end of the ugly fracas, six prisoners died and 10 others were injured.”
The Prisons boss who explained that six prison officers were severely injured said, both staff and inmates are responding to treatment with some already discharged from the hospital.
It would be recalled that they were speculations that 14 inmates were actually shot dead with several others severely injured.
The Controller-General, according to the statement explained that trouble started when inmates in a particular cell resisted the routine cell-search, an exercise carried out by officials every morning.
He said, “They suddenly became riotous, broke other cells and released the inmates. They eventually broke into the workshop to arm themselves with dangerous weapons and severely attacked some staff trapped in the yard while others made for the main gate and pulled it down.”
Meanwhile, “the prisons Armed Squad and men from other security agencies on guard outside the perimetre fence were firing warning shots to deter the rampaging inmates but a number of them rushed out to escape, he added.”
He further said that, “the bold attempt was resisted by the combined team of armed personnel who prevented what would have turned into a catastrophic security situation had the inmates succeeded in escaping,” Ahmed disclosed.
The statement read that the Controller-General has set up a 3-man panel to carry out a detailed investigation into the incident in order to establish both the immediate and remote causes of the riot.
Leadership reports that the recently attacked Abakaliki prison which was built in 1946 with an installed capacity of 387 as at Thursday August 18, 2016, had an excess population of 920 prisoners out of which 811 are awaiting trial, with just about 109 as convicted inmates.
Findings also revealed that the ring leader of the aborted jailbreak was reacting to what he termed as “abandonment in the name of awaiting trial.”
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