• Delta State prisons Controller injured
• 5 inmates maimed, hospitalised — Delta PPRO

By Paul Olayemi

More details emerged, yesterday of how inmates at the Sapele Prisons, Delta State, overwhelmed authorities of the facility during Monday’s attempted jail break, in which two  inmates escaped.

The two inmates, whose names have not been ascertained at press time, were said to have scaled the Sapele Prisons wall through the women wing in the early hours of Monday.

Meanwhile, five other inmates, who were said to have attempted to escape same time, were forcefully brought down and are now receiving treatment at the Sapele Central Hospital.

State Police Public Relations Officer, Onome Onowakpoyeya, who confirmed the development, said, “Yes, it is true. Two inmates escaped in the early hours of the morning, and five others were nailed while attempting to escape and they have been hospitalised. The controller and one other prison staff were injured and as I speak to you, calm has returned to the prison.”

It was learned that the uprising, was Sunday night first quelled after the Controller, Nigerian Prisons, Delta State, Ovie Ezesobor, who drove in from Asaba, calmed the inmates.

Vanguard gathered that trouble started the Sunday night after Ezesobor,  stormed the facility in the night and tried  to pacify the inmates to go back to their cell, as some of them had alleged that 25 prisoners were granted amnesty, while the Chief Justice of Delta State, Justice Marshall Umukoro, who visited the prison few days ago, was said to have released only three.

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“After quelling the uproar,  the Controller (Ezesobor) came back and tried to plead with them to go back to their cells but the inmates refused. The Controller wanted to handle the issue in his own way, he pleaded with them to go back to their cells but they refused,” a source told Vanguard.

The source who pleaded anonymous said, the Controller-General, Nigeria Prisons,  Ja’Afaru Ahmed, at a stage was then involved on how best to calm the inmates, as tempers were beginning to rise.

“The inmates started destroying and burning things. Doors leading to cells were destroyed, and set ablaze, glasses were shattered and computers and drugs at the medical centre were destroyed.

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“They (Ovie and the CG) were on the phone throughout the night, and at one stage, the Delta State Controller was attacked and injured, I think that was when the Controller General decided that security men should be invited in.”

The security men who moved in were said to have spotted some inmates heading towards the female wing of the prisons, that was why they moved in and found out that some persons had arranged tables and chairs and were using it to scale the high fence, two had already escaped, so the five were forcefully brought down,” the source said.

Another source, while squealing to Vanguard said, “The prisoners are totally misinformed, the amnesty is not for everyone and they are insisting that it is for all of them. How can it be for all of them? When we have murderers, rapist, and other high level criminals, there are conditions for the amnesty, and they should know that.” The source begged that his name should not be in print.

Vanguard learned that 85 convicts and 267 awaiting trials inmates are still at the prisons but with virtually everything,  including food destroyed, the inmates are in for tough times.

Meanwhile, the Assistant Zonal Coordinator in charge of Zone G, comprising five states, Mrs Tina Okereke, yesterday,  visited the prisons.

Okereke who arrived at 9:43a.m., said the incident was shocking and commended security men on ground for a job well done.



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