By Nkasi Kolie
Security forces on Thursday, foil jailbreak at the Sapele Road Correctional Centre in Benin City, the Edo State capital.
Members of the public were scared by gunshots at about 1.30pm, at the Correctional Centre, popularly known as White House as a combined security details of the police, army, correctional centre armed personnel and vigilante reportedly secured the facility.
Thereafter, a vigilance group was seen blocking half of the ever busy Sapele road, while motorists scampered for safety.
“There was an attempted jailbreak today at the Benin prison, leading to serious shooting. Soldiers and policemen have been drafted to the area,” a source said.
But, in a statement titled “Disturbance at the Custodial Centre, the Public Relations Officer of the Edo State Command of Corrections, DSC Aminu Suleman, said: “At about 12.30pm, some awaiting trial inmates, especially the recaptured escapees, started protest which led to a confrontation between them and the convicted inmates. Reinforcement was immediately mobilised from the State Headquarters to enforce law and order.
“The situation has been completely controlled and the Custodial Centre is calm. There was no escape of any inmates or death.
Sister security agencies have shown solidarity by drafting their men around the outer perimeter fence to compliment Correctional Service Armed Squad personnel, to ensure total security of the custodial centre.
“The Controller of Corrections, Felix Lawrence, wishes to assure the general public that they should go about their normal business without any fear,” the statement said.
It added that investigation into the incident has been instituted by the Controller to unravel the immediate and remote causes of the disturbance.
At the time of filing this report, soldiers and security personnel of the correctional centre were seen parading around the facility on Thursday evening.
During the #EndSARS protests in October last year, the Sapele Road Correctional Centre as well as the Oko Airport Road Centre were compromised, with thousands of inmates escaping.