The Controller General of the Nigerian Correctional Service, Ja’afaru Ahmed, says investigation is ongoing to ascertain what led to the electrocution of five inmates at the popular Ikoyi Maximum prisons now known as Ikoyi medium security Custodial Center in Lagos.
Five inmates were electrocuted on Monday after what was described as a power surge. “A total of 10 inmates were affected. Five inmates died on the spot; one is still talking, but the remaining four are in critical conditions in hospital.”
But inmates at the Lagos Ikoyi prison, has blamed the death of five inmates in a cell on the carelessness of the prison authorities, saying the prison officials lied to the Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola, about the true picture of the facilities and what led to the incident when he visited the facility on Monday. “We are all awaiting trial inmates. When Aregbesola came, they did not allow us to talk. They lied to him and gave him a false impression of the prison.”
The inmates who wished not to be named to avoid a lash back or sanctions from the prison authority told our correspondent during a disguised visit that facilities had been witnessing several electrical faults and how some inmates suffered electric shock three weeks earlier.
They expressed worry over the prisons officials to properly address the failure of the warders to properly address the problem which led to Monday’s tragedy.
“It happened three weeks ago and somebody was seriously injured. They thought they had addressed the problem.
“you see around 7 to 8 in the morning, the place they usually plug in the fan in the cell just sparked and that’s how the people close to the iron beds just died.
We gathered that the cell, which was meant for 35 inmates, is said to be occupied by 140 inmates.
Nigeria prisons all over the country is known to be over crowded with judicial slow systems. lamenting overcrowding in the facility, the source said the Ikoyi correctional centre had become a business venture for some of the officers.
He said, “They are using us to make money. The officers all have investments in that centre. I paid N30,000 for the bed I sleep on and I even share it with another person if not we will sleep on bare floor but I have pneumonia so I had to pay 30,000 naira to share a 6inches bunk bed with one person but thank God I had left the bunk bed before the incident occurred.
The inmate also faulted the judicial process of Lagos State, saying bail conditions had become stringent.