The Controller General has set up a three-member panel to carry out a thorough investigation into the incident to establish what caused the riot and prison break at the Abakiliki Prison in Ebonyi State.
In a statement released by the Controller-General of the Nigeria Prisons Service NPS, Ja’afaru Ahmed on Sunday morning in Abuja, it was discovered thatthe mastermind behind last Thursday’s attempted jailbreak at the Abakaliki Prisons in Ebonyi state had been incarcerated since 2007 and had been awaiting trial.
Prison authorities did not immediately give details about the ring-leader or his name, offences and whether he was among the inmates killed in the crossfire or not.
In a statement signed by the Service Public Relations Officer, Francis Enobore the Controller General, who inspected the prisons stated that trouble started when prisons officials were about to carry out routine cell-search in the morning but the inmates in a particular cell resisted the exercise.
“They suddenly became riotous, broke other cells and released the inmates. They eventually broke into the workshop to arm themselves with dangerous weapons and severely attacked some staff trapped in the yard while others made for the main gate and pulled it down”.
He said the prisons security agencies on guard outside the perimeter fence were firing warning shots to stop the inmates from escaping but a number of them rushed out to escape. Ahmed said
The Controller General said:
“The bold attempt was resisted by the combined team of armed personnel who prevented what would have turned into a catastrophic security situation had the inmates succeeded in escaping.”
At the end of the confusion, no fewer than six inmates were killed while 10 were injured. Six prisons officers who were injured are said to be currently receiving treatment alongside the inmates.
“Regrettably, at the end of the fracas, six prisoners died and 10 others were injured. Six prisons officers were severely injured. However, both staff and inmates are responding to treatment with some already discharged from the hospital.