The Federal Capital Teritory Controller of Prisons, Daniel Odahro, on Monday confirmed that there was a “minor riot” by inmates of the Kuje Prison.
“There was a minor riot at the Kuje Prison, but the situation has been brought under control,” Mr. Odahro told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Monday in Abuja.
He explained that a ‘’disagreement’’ ensued at about 10.30 a.m., on Monday, when some inmates resisted the routine search in their cells.
Mr. Odahro said the situation was subsequently brought under control by security operatives on duty and that no inmate escaped from the facility.
He dismissed claims that inmates were shot in the melee, and insisted that the situation had been completely taken care of.
“There was nothing like an attempted jail break, yes we had a minor disagreement between prison officials and some inmates, who refused the routine morning search in their cells,
“I can categorically tell you that no inmate escaped and the situation has been brought under control, ’’he said.
Mr. Odahro said that security had been beefed up in and around the prison to forestall a recurrence.
Despite attempts by prisons authorities to downplay the incident, some detainees at the facility insisted there were indiscriminate gunshots and prolonged pandemonium while the riot lasted.
Charles Okah, a detainee at the facility said his rights was breached during the incident.
“It is our clients’ brief that Kuje Prison is currently under attack from members of the Nigerian Prisons Service Armed Squad who are indiscriminately firing gun-shots and tear gas into the air,” Mr. Okah’s lawyers, First Law Solicitors, said in an email sent to PREMIUM TIMES.
The lawyers claimed to have reacted on behalf of all the inmates at the facility.
“This has created pandemonium and violated the fundamental rights of the inmates, particularly, Mr. Charles Okah who has a known medical history which is incompatible with tear gas, gunshots, etc.
“We are, by virtue of this notice to Nigerians and the international community, particularly, Amnesty International and Global Witness making it clear that the Nigerian Prisons Service is already in breach of the fundamental rights of the inmates of Kuje Prison. Our clients therefore reserve the right to sue and seek redress for the breach.”