Some inmates of the Abakaliki prisons who sustained gunshot injuries during the August 18 botched jailbreak are set to undergo surgery.
The prisoners are receiving treatment at the Federal Teaching Hospital, Abakaliki, where they were rushed after the riots.
While sources said 19 inmates died during the attempted jailbreak with 16 others injured, prison officials have said 6 inmates died with 10 others injured.
“Six prison officers were (also) severely injured,” the Comptroller General of Prisons, Jafaru Ahmed, said.
A PREMIUM TIMES reporter saw hospitalised inmates with various body injuries. Some of the inmates were chained to their hospital beds.
Prison officials did not allow taking of pictures at the hospital.
The Chief Medical Director of the hospital, Emeka Onwe, said all the wounded were receiving adequate treatment.
“All I know is that the inmates in our hospital have gunshot injuries, whether as a result of accidental discharge or not,” he said.
“Our orthopaedic surgeons are working hard to carry out surgeries on the inmates to remove the bullets that penetrated the inmates during the incident”.
Mr. Onwe added that “none of them is in the intensive care unit, they are all at the Accident and Emergency Unit. We planning to take them into the theatre and carry out surgery on them as recommended by doctors.”
During his visit to Governor David Umahi on Friday, Mr. Ahmed said no prisoner escaped during the jailbreak.
The Controller General, who had earlier inspected the prison, stated that trouble started when prison officials were about to carry out routine cell-search in the morning. He said 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.
Mr. Ahmed said the prisons armed squad and officials 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.
“The bold attempt was resisted by the combined team of armed personnel who presented what would have turned into a catastrophic security situation had the inmates succeeded in escaping,” he said.
The prisons boss subsequently set up a 3-member panel to investigate the Thursday incident.
The Abakaliki prison in the Ebonyi State capital was built in 1946 with an installed capacity of 387 inmates. As at the day of the escape, the prison had a population of 920 prisoners out of which 811 were awaiting trial leaving just 109 as convicted inmates. The suspected ring leader had spent about 9 years awaiting trial, according to an official statement by the immigration service.
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