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Sunday 5 April 2020

Kaduna correctional service finally admits inmates died during riot over suspected Coronavirus case

The Kaduna State command of the Nigeria Correctional Service (NCS) has finally admitted that some of its inmates died during a riot over a suspected case of Coronavirus in the facility.

LIB reported earlier that the riot ensued after the inmates demanded to be released following claims of an awaiting trial inmate infecting two other inmates with Coronavirus.

Controller of the Kaduna Command of the Correctional Centre, Sanusi Muazu Danmusa however debunked claims of an inmate of the facility being infected with Coronavirus at that time. He described the uprising as a "mere misunderstanding" and further stated that there was no casulty in the commotion at the correctional facility.

However after a civil society organisation, Lygel Youths and Leadership Initiative challenged the authorities to release the details of the dead victims while insisting that they were still being economical with the truth, the authorities at both the centre in Kaduna and the service’s headquarters in Abuja made a U-turn and stated that only two of its officers were injured and that no fatality was recorded.

After being confronted with the details of inmates reportedly killed by security operatives on Friday April 3, spokesperson of the NCS, Austin Njoku started asking for the source of the report. As at Friday, he told Premium Times that 16 personnel of the service had suffered various degrees of injuries and no death was recorded. He also said the incident was still being investigated by a committe and a report was yet to be submitted.

On Saturday April 4, the NCS made another U-turn and also admitted that 4 inmates of the facility died in the riot.

The Kaduna State command controller of corrections, Sanusi Danmusa said in the statement;

“This release is necessary to assure the public that the COMMAND and indeed the Service are not trying to hide any fact as purported by a section of the press, especially when life is involved. Four inmates later died in the hospital from the injuries sustained in the melee that ensued while being restrained by the custodial officers from breaking jail. For the avoidance of doubt, all the deceased inmates were from the condemned section of the Custodial Centre where the jail-break occurred.

“A comprehensive investigation has commenced on the directive of the controller general of the Nigeria correctional service, Alhaji Jafaru Ahmed.”

The executive director of LYLI, Lekan Oladapo, has however insisted that the correctional centre has not told the whole truth.

He said;

“The authorities need to controvert the claim that the other dead inmates were awaiting trial. The statement it issued is simply an afterthought and an attempt to save face and without any substance.

“Why did it take them that long to reveal that inmates died? Why were they quick to claim their people suffered injury? It is all against logic.”

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