Saturday, 11 October 2014

Many Feared Killed As Angry Prisoners Break Jail In Lagos

Some prisoners who could no longer bear the harsh condition at the Kirikiri medium prison attempted to break themselves out of the facility on Friday. A yet to be ascertained number of prisoners were believed to have died as soldiers and prison officials engaged the fleeing prisoners in Lagos.

Scores of other prisoners were also said to have sustained varying degrees of injuries from the incident that occurred at the Prison located in the Apapa area of Lagos around 3.30 pm on Friday.

    A senior official of the NPS said the incident occurred after the inmates protested some privileges denied by a senior official who had just been posted to the prison, one of which was the use of cell phones by the inmates.

The protest later degenerated to attempts by some of the inmates to escape from the prison, prompting the deployment of the armed security personnel stationed outside the prison to prevent them from escaping.

Apart from the prison officials who also made use of sniffer dogs, personnel of the Nigerian Navy from the Navy Town and Kirikiri Police Station were also said to have been called in to assist the men of the Nigerian Prisons Service to secure the massive gates of the prison.

The spokesman for the NPS, Mr. Ope Fatinikun, broke the news of the jailbreak at the end of a three-day security session organised by the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA) in Abuja.

He said: “In line with the spirit of this retreat, I want to inform the media that we have just recorded a jailbreak at the Kirikiri Medium Security Prison in Lagos. We will provide details on Saturday (today).”

Already, the Nigerian Prisons Service (NPS) has ordered investigation into the incident, promising to release the details immediately.

The 1,700-capacity prison had 2,517 inmates as at the time the immediate past Chief Judge of Lagos State, Justice Ayotunde Phillips (rtd), visited the yard on June 16 for the Jail Delivery Exercise.

Out of the 2,517 inmates, 2,382 were rated as awaiting trial with only 135 convicts. Just imagine that!

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