Barely two weeks after a jailbreak in Enugu, several inmates of Abakaliki Federal Prison are feared killed while smany others sustained bullet wounds in another foiled jailbreak in Abakaliki.
Although Nigerian Pilot could not independently confirm, sources however claim that more than 13 persons were killed, including one prison officer during the botched operation.
It was gathered that trouble started when prisoners early Thursday morning revolted against poor treatment, especially inadequate feeding.
Sources told our reporter that the angry inmates started rioting inside the prison and used every object within their reach to attack prison officers and consequently injured many.
Sources said two of the prison officers wounded had been hospitalised.
The prison officers, it was learnt, returned fire for fire which resulted to the killing of several inmates and many others sustaining gunshot wounds.
If not for the rapid response of combined team of Prison personnel, Nigeria Police and Army drafted to the scene, the inmates had started escaping from the prison, having over-powered the guards, eyewitnesses said.
As at press time, soldiers and policemen have cordoned off all roads leading to the Abakaliki prisons.
Gunshots were heard intermittently as police and soldiers tried to recover a firearm allegedly taken from one of the prison officers.
The rioting inmates had already succeeded in creating an opening on the wall before anti-riot policemen arrived and heavily tear gassed them into submission.
The closeness of the prison to the police headquarters led to prompt intervention from the police.
Already, the commander of military cantonment and the Commissioner of Police have visited the area and are directing the operations to restore sanity to the prison.
In a telephone interview, the state Comptroller of Prisons, Mrs Oputa Emilia confirmed the report, stating that three persons were injured in the process but denied knowledge of any death or snatching of guns of prison guard by the prisoners.
She, however, admitted that the angry prisoners broke part of the fence but assured that the situation was being brought under control.
A high-ranking prison official told our reporter in confidence that some prisoners were actually killed and their bodies were being secretly evacuated, but insisted they killed in self defence.
It was also gathered that officers who took pictures of casualties were forced to delete them to avoid divulging it to the public.
The Police spokesman, George Okafor, when contacted said the command was still working hard to resolve the crisis.
He, however, refused to confirm if anybody was killed or not.
“There was an attempted jailbreak and the prisons called in the police. We cordoned off the area and restored normalcy to the area.”