By Onome Oghenetega
There was pandemonium on Monday when angry inmates at the Sapele Prison now known as Nigeria Correctional Centre, Sapele in Delta State, reportedly set some offices on fire as they protest alleged maltreatment against inmates at the centre.
NIGER DELTA TODAY Online reliably gathered that the inmates were stopped from causing jailbreak following the deployment of security operatives including police and soldiers foiled the raging trouble.
Sources told our correspondent that the inmates who protested until the arrival of the State Comptroller of Correctional Centre from Asaba, the state capital, accused the State Chief Judge, Hon. Justice Marshall Mukoro, of bias against serving prisoners at the centre.
The protesting prisoners alleged that only three of their colleagues were freed during the visit of the Chief Judge to pardon some inmates in line with amnesty granted by President Muhammadu Buhari to decongest correctional centres across the country.
The incident which forced the deployment more security agencies to the centre has been brought under control at the time of filing this report.
An official of the correctional centre told our correspondent that, “None of the inmate escaped during the riot aside one building that was set ablaze by the inmate which about three offices were affected. The situation has been brought under control.
“The Delta State Comptroller of Correctional Centres has just arrived with the Police Area Commander in Sapele as well as the Divisional Police Officer. The Chairman of Sapele council is also here.
“What the inmates are saying is that they are not happy that only three of their colleagues were released when the state Chief Judge visited us some days back. They are demanding more people should be freed to decongest the place.”
The source, however, stated that the inferno had been put off by a combined team of firefighters from the State Fire Service and Seplat Fire Service.
Another source who witnessed the incident recounted that “They also complained that many inmates at the centre have not appear in court for over two years. Some also said they were not being well fed by the authorities.”
When contacted, the State Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Onome Onowakpoyeya, confirmed the protest by the inmates but debunked the incident being a jailbreak.
She added that normalcy has been restored to the centre.