Two inmates, whom officials said were among others attempting to escape from a prison in Osun State, South-west Nigeria, were killed on Tuesday, an official has said.
Olusola Adeotan, the spokesperson for the Nigerian Correctional Service in Osun State, disclosed the attempted jailbreak in a statement on Wednesday, saying it happened in the morning of Tuesday at the custodial centre in Ile-Ife.
Mr Adeotan did not disclose the names of the inmates killed. However, sources briefed about the matter exclusively told PREMIUM TIMES that the two killed were Ayofe Aliyu and Adekunle Odekanyin. They died in a hospital after they were shot by armed custodial personnel alongside two others, said to still be in the hospital receiving treatment.
The attempted jailbreak in Ile-Ife came less than a week after three inmates, comprising one on death row and two awaiting trial for armed robbery, escaped from a prison in Ilorin, North-central Nigeria. In the Ilorin case exclusively reported by PREMIUM TIMES, the escapees were said to have cut the cell iron bar.
The report also included fresh fears that some inmates are planning to bring weapons to another prison in Edo State to perpetrate jailbreak. Repeated successful and failed prison attacks have happened in Edo State since 2020.
Between 2020 and 2021, over five thousand inmates escaped from Nigeria’s overcrowded prisons across at least 11 states.
How the Ile-Ife attempted jailbreak happened – Official
Mr Adeotan, the spokesperson, said the inmates had tried to exploit the routine open-out at the Ile-Ife prison and overpowered warders, surging to the gate of the facility before armed personnel stopped them, “immobilising” four.
The statement reads: “Following the successful containment of an attempted jailbreak at Ile-Ife Custodial Centre, Osun State on 4th January 2022, I wish to state that normalcy has been restored in the facility.
“Recall that at about 1148 hours, during a routine open-out of inmates for daily exercises, the inmates in a particular cell attacked the officers on duty and succeeded in breaking out more inmates from other cells.
“Having overpowered the officers due to their large number, surged to the main gate in a bid to break out from jail. While the officers trapped within the yard were being manhandled, the ensuing confrontation between the escaping inmates and the armed personnel on guard duty resulted in four (4) of the inmates being immobilised.
“They were taken to the hospital for medical attention. Two (2) of the injured inmates later lost their lives while the remaining 2 are still in the hospital responding to treatment.
“Controller of Corrections, CC Olanrewaju Amoran was on the ground to assess the situation.
“He assures members of the public that the inmates are in safe custody and normalcy has returned to the yard while an investigation is ongoing.”
WATCH: Governor Yahaya Bello's Roadmap to Hope 2023