Weeks after averting an attempted jailbreak in Kuje Medium Prison in the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, Nigerian Pilot leant another similar attempt occurred Monday morning in the prison.
Findings revealed that officers of the Nigeria Prison Service, NPS, at about 10:15am started shooting tear gas at inmates over what is said was attempted jailbreak.
According to a top source in the service, this development led to sporadic shooting of tear gas by the officials of the prisons.
“Riot broke out in the prison facilities just as most officials arrived duty. And the riot started about 10 this morning from one of the blocks but a team of security operatives were immediately drafted in to deal with the situation.
“As I speak with you now there is a lock down in the prison, prisons officials are throwing tear-gas at the inmates to cow them because of the last jail break.
“What happened was that some of the inmates complained that they were dying. One of the inmates said, “We do not know what they want to do with us; some people are on the ground now rolling and crying.”
Another source said two of the inmates sustained injuries during the incident and were taken to a nearby hospital for treatment.
When contacted, the spokesman of the NPS, DCP Francis Enobore confirmed the incident but refused to give details.
“Yes, there is an issue but we have settled it,” he informed.
There have been four prison breaks in the country in the last three months.
The first was at the Kuje Prison which occurred June 24, this year, just five weeks after the new Comptroller-General of Prison, Ahmed Ja’afaru assumed office.
Two high profile inmates, Solomon Amodu and Maxwell Ajukwu (both standing trial for culpable homicide) escaped from custody and are still at large.
Also on July 30, 13 inmates escaped from the Koton Karfe Minimum Prisons in Kogi State.
On August 8, there was another jailbreak in Nsukka Prison, Enugu State, where 15 inmates comprising 10 pre-trial detainees and three convicts allegedly escaped from the prison.
Ten days after, there was an attempted jailbreak in Abakaliki Prison, Ebonyi State, where officials claimed six inmates attempting to escape were killed and several others injured.
Residents around the Kuje prison who spoke to Nigerian Pilot said they took to their heels when the officers were shooting, not knowing that it was tear gas.
One of the residents said, “Many of the people leaving in the barracks ran leaving their children.”
Denying the riot, the Controller of Prisons in the FCT, Daniel Odharo confirmed that there was no crisis in Kuje Prison.
According to a statement issued by the FCT Command Public Relations Officer, Chukwuedo Humphrey, “At about 1000hrs on Monday 29th August, 2016, staff of Kuje Prison carried out a routine cell-search which is a part of the Prisons operational guidelines to prevent breach of security within and around the prisons. Some inmates tried to resist the exercise which led to an altercation between the search party and the inmates. This was quickly put under effective control. No prisoner was injured, no property damaged and the yard is calm and peaceful.
“The Controller of Prisons, FCT Command, Odharo Daniel has assured that the security and wellbeing of prisoners in the Federal Capital Territory will continue to be held as a priority task and will never be compromised.”

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