More than 48 hours after it was reported that scores of inmates were feared dead in an attempted prison break at the Kirikiri Medium Prison in Apapa area of Lagos, some inmates at the prison have revealed what really happened on that fateful day.
According to some of the prisoners who spoke to The Nation, what happened at the Kirikiri prison on Friday, 10 October, 2014 was a protest against decision of the Nigerian Prisons Service (NPS) denying them of their rights to eat food brought by their families.
The inmates alleged that the prison authorities expected them to die in silence.
It would be recalled that the spokesperson of the prison service, Ope Fatiniku, had on Saturday, through a statement made public by PR Nigeria, confirmed the riot at the Kirikiri medium Security Prison.
The statement had informed that the situation was immediately put under control by the prison authorities.
However, some of the inmates who participated at the riot alleged that the authority was being economical with the truth on what led to the prison riot and the number of people killed as a result of the protest.
“So many people were injured. At least I saw five inmates who were killed,” an inmate who pleaded anonymity told newsmen.
He added: “It could be more than that. Some would have died in the hospital. The authority lied. It was not a jail break, we were protesting over the inhuman treatment meted to us by the authority. They expected us to die in silence.
“The new deputy comptroller of prisons (DCP) ordered that some of the items we used should be seized from us. The items include generating set, fans, pots, kettles and others items.
“He also banned raw food. He stopped our family members from bringing raw food for us.
“The food they serve here, even American dogs would rather starve than to taste it. They treat us like bush animals and that is why we protested.
“The authority said only one inmate died but it is a blatant lie! They are lying. Let me tell you the truth, nobody planned to escape and those they killed were deliberately shot, not because they attempted to escape.
“They wanted to quieten us but many preferred to die.
“They were firing sporadically at us and we were running to save our heads, forcing those residing in the area to scamper for safety.”
Meanwhile, it was gathered that a probe panel has been set up by the Acting Comptroller General of Prisons, Aminu Suley, to investigate the tragic incident.
The official figure of injured inmates was put at seven. Out of them, one was said to have died in an undisclosed hospital.
Also, three inmates were reported to have been treated and discharged from the Prison’s Clinic, while the remaining people admitted in various undisclosed hospitals.
Prior to this sad incident, 75 prison inmates of the Kirikiri Prisons were freed by the Chief Judge of Lagos State, Justice Ayotunde Phillips in July.
Seventy-one of the inmates were released from the medium section of the prison, three were released from the maximum facility and one from the female prisons.
Majority of those released were said to be inmates still awaiting trial prior to their reprieve.