Posted by News Express | 18 May 2020 | 715 times
By SUNNY NWANKWO, Aba
Three inmates and officials of the Nigerian Correctional facility located in Aba, the commercial nerve of Abia, have been hospitalised following an attempted break by prisoners.
It was learnt the incident caused pandemonium in the yard as some of the prisoners and warders scampered for safety.
It was learnt it took a combined team of the officers of the facility in the arms department and police personnel from the Aba Central Police Station (CPS) under Aba Area Command of the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) to forestall the prisoners from carrying out an attempted prison break.
It was also gathered that about three prisoners sustained gunshot wounds while other personnel of the prison service sustained various degrees of wounds.
It was learnt the prisoners and warders are on admission at the Federal Medical Center (FMC), Umuahia where they are receiving medical attention.
“You recall that President Muhammadu Buhari had asked the Chief Justice of the Federation to ensure that prison inmates who have been awaiting trial for six years or more should be freed in order to decongest the already overcrowded prison cells and to further stop the spread of the novel coronavirus in the yards across the country.
“From what we gathered, instead of releasing all the inmates that the presidential order affected, they released some while others were awaiting any further action by the authorities of Nigerian Prisons and office of the Attorney-General and Chief Judge of the State.
“When they ran out of patience, after having waited for further actions from the Prison and Abia State Chief Judge, they now took to protest.
“From what we gathered, the protest took the warders unawares as some of the inmates serving several jail terms nearly took advantage of the situation to escape from the facility. They were, however, repelled by the arms department officials who resisted.
”They were firing shots. We learnt that three of the prisoners sustained bullet injuries in the melee, while some of the prisoners injured some of the prison officials who had earlier tried to stop those that want to take advantage of the protest to escape.
“Their protest wasn’t about any maltreatment by officials of the facility, but because of the number of the people that were supposed to be released in Aba prison isn’t what they released.
“The prisoners who were chanting “We want to go!!!… during the protest, queried why 10 persons will be released from the facility in Aba, unlike what was obtained in other correctional facilities across the country where a good number of inmates on awaiting trials were released from detention.
“The protest, I guess is to draw the attention of the world and President Muhammadu Buhari to the non-implementation of his orders by the Aba and Abia Prison authorities,” a resident around the Aba prison who pleaded anonymity narrated.
The Nation learnt instead of releasing about 100 inmates reportedly affected by the Presidential directives, only 10 inmates were freed from the Aba facility, a situation that reportedly sparked the protest.
Attempts to reach the spokesman of the Nigerian Prison, Abia State, Linus Ikpe, a Deputy Superintendent of Prison (DSP), failed.
He neither picked his calls or responded to several WhatsApp chats. (The Nation)
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