Dele Ogbodo in Abuja
The Nigeria Prisons Service (NPS) said on Sunday that six of its officers died in the last Thursday riot at Abakaliki prison facility, Ebonyi State.
A statement signed by Mr. Francis Enobore, the Prisons Public Relations Officer, on behalf of the Controller-General of Prisons, Mr. Ja’ afaru Ahmed, said 10 others, including both officers and inmates, sustained injuries.
The CGP attributed the recent jailbreaks in Kuje, Koton-Karfe and Nsukka prisons to the near abandonment of routine cell search practice.
The fracas which led to the death of the six officials started when prison officials were about to carry out routine cell-search in the morning but the inmates in a particular cell resisted the exercise.
The statement said: “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.
“Meanwhile, the Prisons’ Armed Squad and men from other security agencies on guard outside the perimeter fence were firing warning shots to deter the rampaging inmates but a number of them rushed out to escape.”