It was gathered that security operatives fired gunshots and tear gas canisters into the atmosphere just to restore law and order and control the rioters. There were shocking discoveries.
This happened 11 days after a similar incident in Abakaliki Prison, Ebonyi State, that led to the death of six inmates and injuries to four prison warders.
The Monday riot in Kuje prison occurred two months after two inmates, standing trial for culpable homicide, escaped from the Prison on June 25. The fleeing inmates have yet to be re-arrested.
Sources in the prison said the violent protest was brought under control by the Prison's armed squad supported by soldiers providing additional security cover for the formation.
The incident, it was learnt, caused panic among residents of Kuje community, who had thought that the prison was under attack by terrorists.
The Controller of Prisons, FCT Command, Daniel Odharo, in a statement, confirmed the crisis at the prison but said there was no injury or escape by inmates.
Odharo said, “At about 1000hrs on Monday, staff of Kuje Prison carried out a routine cell-search which is a part of the prisons operational guidelines to prevent the breach of security within and around the prisons.
“Some inmates tried to resist the exercise, which led to an altercation between the search party and the inmates. This was quickly put under effective control. No prisoner was injured, no property damaged and the yard is calm and peaceful.”
Investigations by Punch indicated that the violence was instigated by convicts, who refused to allow warders to carry out a search on their cells for prohibited items.
It was gathered from a reliable source that during the search, 25 mobile sets were recovered from a suspected Boko Haram inmate.
The source said, “The incident happened this morning. The warders who were acting on instructions from the prison authorities, decided to search the cells and seize prohibited items.
“During search, they found 25 handsets with a Boko Haram suspect. After a search of the convicts’ cells, they moved to the awaiting-trial cells.
“But those men, who saw the warders approaching with some ‘already’ seized items, decided to resist them. They attacked the warders with stones and every object they could lay their hands on, and in the process, many of the warders were injured.”
It was gathered that after a search, some substances, suspected to be cannabis, were also uncovered in some cells and confiscated.
VIP inmates resist search
It was said gathered that the convicts, who were kept in a block called ‘VIP’, were allowed to enjoy certain privileges not permitted by the prison rules and regulations.
Sources stated that against prison rules, awaiting trial inmates were allowed to stay in the VIP block as it was more comfortable.