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UPDATED: ‘Indiscriminate’ gunshots rock Kuje Prison

UPDATED: ‘Indiscriminate’ gunshots rock Kuje Prison
August 29
12:48 2016

There is commotion at Kuje Prison, Abuja, following “indiscriminate gunshots” fired by officials of the Nigerian Prison Service (NPS).

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Lawyers of Charles Okah, one of the inmates at the facility, disclosed this in a statement, saying the life of their client is under threat.

“We are solicitors to CHARLES TONBRAH OKAH, in particular, and the entire inmates of Kuje Medium Security Prison in Abuja (whom we shall hereinafter, collectively refer to as “our clients”),” the lawyers said in a statement.

“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.

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“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.”

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When contacted, Francis Enobore, spokesman of the service, confirmed the development but said he could not give details because he was on his way to the prison.

Daniel Odahro, federal capital territory (FCT) controller of prisons, later described the incident as a “minor riot”.

“There was a minor riot at the Kuje Prison, but the situation has been brought under control,” NAN quoted Odahro as saying.

He said a “disagreement’’ ensued around 10:30am when some inmates resisted the routine search in their cells.

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Odahro said the situation was subsequently brought under control by the 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 jailbreak. Yes, we had a minor disagreement between prison officials and some inmates, who refused the routine morning search in their cells,” he said.

“I can categorically tell you that no inmate escaped and the situation has been brought under control.”

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