Confusion and uncertainty, Thursday gripped residents of Ilorin following reported clash between inmates of Oke Kura Prison in Ilorin, Kwara State and the warders, leading to the death of six inmates with dozen others receiving medical attention.
Resident who had blood relations in the prisons were said to be panicking and wanted to confirm the authenticity of the fracas and the identities of the affected inmates with their health status.
Unconfirmed reports said six of prison inmates were beaten to death by warders.
The fracas which reportedly claimed half a dozen lives occurred around 2pm on Thursday.
The spokesperson for the Nigeria Prison Service, Francis Enobore, could not be reached on his phone.
He had yet to respond to a text message sent to his line as of the time of filing this report.
However, the Public Relations Officer of the Ilorin Prison who identified himself simply as Philip, denied the incident.
He said, “How is it possible for warders to beat inmates to death? It is not true and no such thing happened. If you’re in doubt, come down to Ilorin, I will personally lead you to Oke Kura to see things for yourself.”
But the Punch reported that the incident really happened and that the authorities were trying to cover it up.
Giving background to the fracas, It was learnt that the inmates, who were in the condemned inmates’ cell, had protested the substandard quality of food they were served.
They reportedly demanded to see the controller of the prison to address their grievances.
The source said the prison authorities shunned the inmates and refused to heed their call.
He said, “The demand for improvement in food quality and quantity had been on for the past two months, but nothing was done.
“On Thursday, the inmates decided to protest.
“That was how the warders went and got the arms squad. They entered into the prison and unleashed terror on the inmates, who were in the condemned cell.
“Five of them died there and one of the 12 casualties died at the hospital. The incident has caused tension in the prison as I speak with you.”
It was learnt that the 11 other casualties were on “danger list” at the hospital where they were receiving treatment.
Our source identified the deceased to include one Alhaji Fasasi, Alhaji Yusuf, and Jeunlo.
“There is a grand plan to cover up the incident in the prison,” he added.