At least five inmates of the Ikoyi Prison have been electrocuted while seven others have been hospitalised.
The incident was said to have occurred yesterday morning, moments after some of the inmates had been served their breakfast.
The incident caused serious commotion among the prison authorities. It was also gathered that the inmates were being served their breakfast when the unfortunate incident occurred.
Some of the affected inmates were said to be in B Ward (B4) Cell. A, B, C, D, E and F, while those injured were rushed to the hospital unconscious. It was gathered that doctors are still battling to save their lives.
A prison source said: “The incident happened in the morning, after the inmates had been served their breakfast. What they usually do, is that once they are served, they take their food back to their cell. This particular inmate went into his cell and climbed the double bunk, where his hand mistaken touched a faulty electric cable. The shock threw him down; he landed on four other inmates, dragging the wire with him. They died instantly. Water poured everywhere and the wire landed in the water. It was the current from that water that got others, who are presently in hospital. The central control was then quickly switched off.”
Another source in the prison, blamed the incident on negligence. The Chief Warden was alleged to have been informed of the electric issues before the incident, but failed to do the needful. It was further alleged that he thought the inmates were lying about the faulty wire.
The source added: “As a yard keeper, he was aware of the partial shocking incidents before it led to this major one that claimed lives. The cell where the incident occurred was built to take only 30 inmates, but currently has over 130 inmates.”
The spokesman for Nigeria Correctional Service, Mr Francis Enobore, said the Controller General of Corrections, Ja’afaru Ahmed, received, with the deepest grief, the news of the death of the five inmates. He said it was due to electrical fault in one of the cells.
He said that the CG, who visited the scene of the ill-fated incident with the Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, described the tragedy as the first in the history of the Nigeria Correctional Service as they have not experienced such a disaster before.
The Minister, however, ordered an immediate investigation into the incident with a view to taking necessary actions in order to forestall future occurrence. He also commiserated with families of the deceased.
Enobore said that the CG has assured members of the public that inmates’ safety and humane custody would continue to be a priority in his administration. He further restates his commitment to pursue the policy thrust of the Federal Government at improving the general Welfare of inmates with the deserved.