At least 13 prisoners and one prison guard have been killed on Thursday during a jailbreak attempt in Abakaliki Prisons in Ebonyi State.
A mild revolt turned bloody after inmates of the prison rioted over the poor meals served to them by the prison and then attempted to escape from the facility.
In the course of the riot, an inmate allegedly snatched a rifle from one of the guards in the prison yard and shot at them, prompting the officials to defend themselves.
Although the police, who foiled the attempted jailbreak, did not confirm the death of any inmate, however, sources said they counted not less than 14 bodies.
It was gathered that trouble started when prisoners early in the morning revolted against poor treatment and inadequate feeding.
Eyewitnesses said the angry inmates started rioting inside the prison and used every object within their reach to attack prison officers. Many prison officials were injured.
Another source said two officials were killed during the incident while five casualties were recorded on the part of the inmates.
The source said: “Had it not been for the rapid response of the combined team of prison officers, the police and army drafted to the scene, the inmates would have started escaping from the prison having over-powered the guards.”
Confirming the incident, the Ebonyi State Comptroller of Prisons, Mrs. Oputa Emilia, said three persons were injured but denied that lives were lost.
She also disclosed that the situation had been brought under control.
Also speaking on the incident, the state Police Public Relations Officer, George Okafor, a Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP), said the command was still working to resolve the crisis, adding:
“There was an attempted jailbreak and the prisons called in the police. We cordoned off the area and restored normalcy to the area.”
In the meantime, the state governor David Umahi has declared a state of emergency on Abakaliki Prisons.