Police in Ebonyi State on Thursday morning foiled a jailbreak attempt at the Abakiliki Prisons, where inmates rioted for hours.
Security sources told PREMIUM TIMES that at least two people died in the fracas.
One source said two prison officials were killed by the inmates.
Police have cordoned off all roads leading to the facility.
Gunshots could be heard intermittently as police battle to recover a firearm allegedly seized from one of the prison officials, a witness said.
It was not immediately clear why the inmates revolted.
A security source said inmates made attempts at escaping after the riot started, and had already broken through a wall when anti-riot policemen arrived and tear gassed them into submission.
The prison is located beside the police headquarters, a proximity that enabled a rapid police police response.
The military commander in the area, and state police commissioner have visited the area and were working to restore normalcy.
Police spokesperson, George Okafor, told PREMIUM TIMES the command was working hard to resolve the crisis.
He did not confirm if there were casualties.
“There was an attempted jailbreak and the prisons called in the police. We cordoned off the area and restored nomalcy to the area,” he said. “We will brief you later on the issue once everything have been sorted out.”