Five inmates of the Ikoyi Medium Security Custodial Centre have been electrocuted to death and seven severely injured when an electrical fault occurred on Monday morning in the cell in which they were locked up.
The particular cell where the disaster occurred has the capacity for 35 but had about 140 inmates locked up as at the time of the incident. Spokesman of the Nigerian Correctional Service, NCOs, Controller Francis Enobore in a statement Monday evening in Abuja disclosed that the centre which was built in 1955 was originally meant for only 800 inmates.
“As at the time of the incident, Ikoyi Medium Security Custodial Centre built-in 1955 for 800 inmates, had a population of 3,113 with 2,680 as awaiting trial persons”, said Enobore.
According to him, the Controller General of Corrections, Ja’afaru Ahmed, had on Monday morning “received, with the deepest grief, the unfortunate death of 5 inmates of Ikoyi Medium Security Custodial Centre, Lagos as a result of an electrical fault in one of the cells. This is indeed tragic and most ill-fated”.
The statement said, the CG who visited the scene of the incident with the Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, noted that it was the first time in the history of the NCOs that such a disaster would occur.
“He, therefore, ordered an immediate investigation into the sad incident with a view to taking necessary actions in order to forestall future occurrence. He commiserated with the families of the deceased inmates and prayed for quick recovery of the 7 others that are receiving treatment in the hospital.
“The CG wishes to assure members of the public that inmates’ safety and humane custody will 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 fervour”, he added. Earlier, the minister had ordered an investigation into the circumstances surrounding the deaths of some inmates at the Ikoyi Custodial Centre.