- No crisis in Kuje Prison – Controller
THERE was pandemonium at Kuje Medium Security Prison on Monday following an attack on some prison officers on routine cell-search.
Tribune Online gathered that riot broke out in the Prison at about 10.30 am leading to sporadic shooting by the prison officers in an attempt to quell the uprising.
Controller of Prisons Federal Capital Territory Command, Mr Daniel Odharo, who confirmed the development said the incident occurred when staff of Kuje Prison carried out a routine cell-search, which was a part of the prison’s operational guidelines to prevent breach of security within and around the prisons.
He added that inmates tried to resist the exercise which led to an altercation between the search party and the inmates.
He, however, said this was quickly put under effective control, adding that “no prisoner was injured, no property damaged and the yard is calm and peaceful.”
Odharo stressed that the security and wellbeing of prisoners in the Federal Capital Territory would continue to be held as a priority task and would never be compromised.
Tribune Online gathered from a source within the prison that the trouble started from one of the blocks and spread to other blocks within the facility.
It would be recalled that in June this year, two inmates escaped from the Kuje Medium Security Prison among other cases of jailbreaks recorded in recent times.
On July 30, not less than 13 inmates escaped from Koton Karfe prison in Kogi State. 10 days later, no fewer than 15 inmates at the Federal Prisons in Nsukka, Enugu State, escaped in another jailbreak that reportedly took place late in the evening.
Also this August, no fewer than 14 inmates of the Abakaliki prison in Ebonyi State capital, were feared killed during a jailbreak bid under the cover of a prison riot.
A source said a team of security operatives had been drafted to the facility to contain the uprising but could not tell whether any inmate had escaped.
“There is heavy shooting. The whole place is in confusion. All the inmates have been locked in their cells but the security operatives are shooting teargas into the cells.
“We don’t know what happened but it seems there is serious trouble here. There are so many armed security operatives all over the place,” the source said.
Some of the inmates complained that they were dying, as they spoke to Tribune Online: “We do not know what they want to do with us; some people are on the ground now rolling and crying.”
“There is no jail break, yet they woke up this morning to start shooting tear gas at us,” they added.
The spokesperson of the Nigerian Prison Service (NPS), Francis Enobore, however, confirmed the incident when contacted, saying, “We have received report of a problem in Kuje Prision but give me a little time to get the facts on it as some of our men are already on ground to handle the situation,” he said.
“We are monitoring what is happening. I will revert to you as soon we get more details from our men on the ground.”