15 feared dead in attempted Ebonyi jailbreak


About 15 inmates and one prison officer may have died following an attempted jailbreak at Abakaliki Federal Prison in Ebonyi State.

Governor David Umahi, however, has waded into the matter, promising to carry out rehabilitation of facilities at the prison.

He made this known, yesterday evening, when he visited the scene of the botched jailbreak.

The State Comptroller, Mrs. Oputa Emilia, while confirming the incident, however, said three people sustained injuries, denying any deaths or plot by the prisoners to snatch guns from wardens.

Sources, nevertheless, insisted more than 15 persons including a prison officer were killed.

Trouble was said to have started in the morning when the prisoners revolted against what they said was poor treatment, especially inadequate feeding, by the prison’s authorities.

The inmates, who armed themselves with random objects at their disposal, attacked prison officers, injuring many. Two were reportedly hospitalised.

The wardens were said to have opened fire on the protesters, killing more than a dozen.

The situation was brought under control by men of the
Nigeria Police Force and Army.

Umahi directed the state’s Director of Prisons, Adaobi Oputa, to compile cases and send them to him to enable him put heads together with the state’s Chief Judge, Aloy Nwankwo, to fast-track justice.

He decried the level of infrastructural decay in Abakiliki Prisons, saying: “Recreational and sporting facilities will be provided. I believe such things will engage those in the prisons and keep them from thinking of how to escape. When they are engaged, they will not have time to think about crimes. What we have here cannot reform anyone. It will rather harden them. We have to reform them and reintegrate the good ones into our society.”

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