Inmates in Kaduna Prison have attempted a jailbreak after riot broke out over the Coronavirus pandemic in the country.
The inmates, who fear that they could contract the deadly virus going by the poor ventilation and lack of protective items in the facility, mobilised in large numbers on Tuesday morning in an attempt to break free from the correctional centre.
Security personnel fired several gunshots around the facility to scare the inmates and bring the situation under control.
One person is currently feared to have been killed during the chaos while several prison officials, who sustained injuries have been rushed to a teaching hospital in city for urgent medical attention.
An official of the facility, who spoke with SaharaReporters on Tuesday, said several sections of the facility were vandalised by the irate inmates.
“There was an attempted jail break and riot in the yard. Staff were injured and cells broken but security agencies in collaboration with armed squad officers are trying to restore normalcy,” the official said.
Recall that some prominent citizens had called on the Nigerian Government to decongest prisons by releasing minor offenders in a bid to curb the spread of Coronavirus.
SaharaReporters gathered that since inmates got a hold of the information, they had been making attempts to force their ways out since government was yet to respond to that call.
“We warned both federal and state governments last week to quickly decongest the prisons by releasing minor offenders and death-row inmates who have been in custody for over 10 years and those 60 years of age and above.
“Honourable Minister of Interior got the message and joined in the call but till now, nothing has been done.
“Eventually, jails will break and dangerous criminals will be out on the streets seeking means of survival,” a source familiar with prison operations in Nigeria said.
When contacted by SaharaReporters, spokesperson for the Kaduna State Police Command, Muhammad Jalige, said it was an internal problem between prison officials and inmates and that the police had been deployed to the area to arrest the situation.
He said, “It was just an internal problem between the staff and inmates and it has been managed. That is according to the Assistant Comptroller General in charge of the entire zone. Normalcy has been restored.”