Attempt jailbreak: Inmates blames Delta CJ for their action over alleged marginalisation

By Akpos Oghenetega,

Inmates of the Nigerian Correctional Service in Sapele, Delta State has blamed the riot that happened at the facility on Monday over alleged “marginalization” by the Chief Justice of Delta State, Justice Marshall Umukoro.

The prisoners who attempted jailbreak but was foiled by a team of security personnel alleged that the riot was triggered by prisoners who were alleging that 25 prisoners were granted amnesty in the correctional service centre while the Chief Justice of Delta State, who visited the Center a few days ago, was said to have released only three.

The inmates as part of their plans to escape from the facility set the Correctional centre was then ablaze, while some prison officials who attempted to calm the situation were injured and a prisoner was said to have been stabbed.

At about 9:34am, smoke was seen billowing from inside the Nigerian Correctional Service, with objects like stones, bottles, food flask, stones being flung out.

Men and officers from the Delta State Fire Service, and Seplat fire service Department struggled for hours to put out the fire, though no life was lost, the fire causes a lot of damage to the facility.

According to a prison source who spoke to us but pleaded for anonymity, said that trouble started at about 7:40am when some inmates from the Awaiting Trial section began to sing and then breaking out from their prison cell while refusing to take their meals.

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He stated that “the officers on duty tried to pacify them but the inmates refused to listen to them and they began to mobilise others, but before they knew it, the protest was beginning to spread to other inmates and they were getting violent.

“The Correctional officers on duty had no option than to call in other security men, who came in trying to calm them down, but the prisoners went on destroying,” the source said.

“Other places, inmates were released in huge numbers but here, it is only one, the said three inmates are lies, the other two are people that were bailed, so it’s only one that was granted amnesty here,” said by one of the violent prisoner, who was welding a cutlass.

The Chairman of Sapele Local Government Area, Hon Eugene Inoaghan, on getting to the scene appealed to them to be calm, assuring them that their concern will be tabled before the appropriate authority for action.

A Correctional service officer, who begged not to be named said the prisoners attempted to escape through a hole, they dug, in the wall but were met by armed officers, “they broke the walls and set their foams ablaze and they burnt other records in the Senior Officer’s office, you can see we are battling them” he said before dashing off.

“They opened the roof and dug walls trying to escape. But shots were fired by security officers to dissuade them. They retreated and went down into the prison,” he added.

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At about 1:36pm, loud shouts of female inmates were heard screaming, Security men comprising of the 19th battalion of the Nigerian Army, Koko, the Nigerian Police Command, Sapele, Nigerian Navy, and vigilante men led by the LG chairman, Sapele Divisional Police Officer, CSP Akande Abubakar and the two SSA’s on security to the State governor led a team to rescue the women. The female inmates were later taken away to an unknown destination.

The Controller, Nigerian Correctional Service, Delta State, Mr Ovie Friday Ezesobor, who breezed in at about 2:11pm, immediately led the security men back to the centre where he succeeded after 30 minutes to calm the inmates down

“We are trying to calm them, they all cannot get amnesty I have told them, we will do all we can to calm them and keep them inside and I must thank all of you who helped in calming the situation,” he said.

 

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