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Jailbreak: When Prisoners Seek To Escape In Calabar


EMERGING fresh facts have revealed that not less than 16 persons were feared dead in the recent jailbreak attempt in Afokang Prison in Calabar, Cross River State.

  Top prison sources told The Guardian that about 16 prisoners were feared dead while over 100 were still battling with gunshot wounds, but prison officials have said nobody died as at the time of the incident.

   Sources said trouble started when five militant prisoners, who were transferred to the Afokang prison, last week, started making plans on how to escape.

   However, the opportunity came according to the sources, when all the prisoners were given the opportunity to have their usual morning bath. Some of them then used the privilege to get to the armoury, where they armed themselves and began to shoot at prison officials.

   It was gathered that when the situation could not be controled by the warders, they called for reinforcement from the Nigeria Army, Civil

Defence and Road Safety Corps, who engaged the prisoners in gun battle as they were trying to escape through the main gate.

  Following the shootout, sources said, some of the prisoners were killed. Recalled that in the morning of February 20, prisoners attempted a jailbreak at the same prison, but security officials foiled their actions.

   In a telephone interview, the State’s Police Public Relation

Officer (PPRO), Hogan Bassey and the Prison Comptroller in Charge of the state, Mr. Clement Udosen, said no life was lost.

  Udosen explained that the two cells of about 70 prisoners in each organised themselves and overpowered the prison staff and rushed to the armoury, where they seized the rifles and began to fire at the staff.

  “In that confusion they broke other cells and the whole yard was filled with inmates. They made attempt to break the fence, but failed. Luckily, they have all been rounded up and nobody escaped. 

  “Many of us were injured while some are receiving treatment in the hospital. Right now, it is only the medical doctor handling the case that can tell the number of casualties. And most of those injured are the inmates,” he said.

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