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Shootings in Benin as awaiting trial inmates, convicts clash

An uprising in one of the custodial centres in Edo State known as White House on Sapele Road on Thursday created panic among residents, as gunshots rent the air.

Commuters, drivers, passersby and business owners around the prison vicinity scampered for safety when they heard the gunshots around 1pm.

PUNCH Metro gathered that many thought there was an ongoing jailbreak, as they took to their heels not wanting to be caught in the crossfire.

A woman, who works in a business centre close to the custodial centre and identified herself only as Jane, said she started to hear the gunshots around 1.30pm.

“I started noticing that something was wrong in the prison with noise coming out from the facility. We thought it was a small issue until men in the facility started shooting and everyone nearby took to their heels,” she added.

Another source said he thought the prisoners attempted a jailbreak as they did during the #EndSARS protest last year.

The spokesperson for the custodial centre, Aminu Sulaiman, in a statement, said the situation had been brought under control.
The statement read, “Around 12.30pm, some awaiting-trial inmates, especially the recaptured escapees, started a 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 showed solidarity by drafting their men around the outer perimeter fence to compliment the correctional service armed squad personnel to ensure total security of the custodial centre.

“Meanwhile, investigation into the incident has been instituted by the controller to unravel the immediate and remote causes of the disturbance.”