Controversy over casualties of Ikoyi Correctional Centre attempted jailbreak

Ogunsakin Mustapha
5 Min Read

There are indications that the attempted jailbreak by inmates of Ikoyi Correctional Center in Lagos on Thursday last week attracted a large number of casualties. Gavel International investigations revealed that the jail break led to the death of many inmates.

The whole country, particularly Lagos woke up on Thursday October 22, 2020 to see the video of smokes of fire coming from the prison, inmates running helter-skelter in the attempt to escape from the prison.

A combination of soldiers, policemen and Correctional Officers were able to bring the situation under control. Ikoyi Correctional Center is on Ribadu Road, where Nigeria’s former seat of power is also located. It therefore made the center a very secured one.

Later on the same day, the Public Relations Officer of the Nigerian Correctional Centre, Lagos State Command, Mr Rotimi Oladokun in a press release confirmed the incident.

He stated: “The personnel of the Nigerian Correctional Service (NCoS) foiled an attempted jail break by some inmates of Ikoyi Custodial Centre, Lagos;

The inmates sought to take advantage of the current #EndSARS protest and enforced curfew in the state to stage a jailbreak; however the inmates met stiff resistance by the personnel at the Centre;

Unfortunately, the inmates in their attempted jailbreak set a section of the Custodial Centre ablaze;

There was no breach of the Custodial Centre security perimeter as the combined deployment of military and other security agency ensured the safety of the inmates and the Custodial Centre;

Further investigations and mop up operations are currently ongoing;

The Controller of Corrections Sam Iyakoregha wishes to reiterate that the security integrity of Ikoyi Custodial Centre and all Custodial Centres in Lagos State is safe”.

Gavel International investigations however revealed that the inmates of the center became agitated after hearing of the Benin, Edo State jailbreak. Some hoodlums had attacked the Benin Correctional Centre after the #Endsars protest turned violent in the city. Hoodlums hiding under the protest had unleashed mayhem on the city, and the correctional center was attacked.

According to inside sources, pandemonium ensued after a fight between an inmate and a correctional officer turned violent. The officer was reported to have caught the inmate using a telephone. An attempt by the officer to retrieve the phone was rebuffed by the inmate. The officer slapped the inmate and he slapped the officer back. Other inmates joined hands to beat up the officer, removed his uniform, and started forcefully opening the cells. They even threatened inmates that refused to come out of their cells by throwing fire at them.

The situation however turned around when security men came to put the situation under control. The security people reportedly shot at anyone in sight and several people were shot. In the evening, two trucks were reportedly brought into the center to pack the bodies of the casualties.

The PRO, Mr Oladookun however would not agree that there were casualties. In a telephone interview with Gavel International, he said that the press statement issued on the issue is the stand of NCS.  He said the Service is still carrying out its own investigations and stock taking. When confronted with information that some inmates were reportedly killed, he said: “certain members sustained various degrees of injuries but they are not life threatening and they are receiving treatment. For now, like i said, we are conducting our own investigations and doing stock taking”. He added that on that fateful day, there were similar incidences in Ondo State, and another one at Delta State. He said he could only speak about what happened in Lagos. “We thank God that there was no escape, and the incident was contained”, he concluded.

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