from EMEKA OKONKWO in Abuja, Nigeria
ABUJA, (CAJ News) – FAKE news over the coronavirus (COVID-19) has turned disastrous in Nigeria after prisoners ran riot demanding their release from jail.
Ten prison officers were injured at the Kaduna Maximum Custodial Centre as convicts agitated for their release based on the rumor making the rounds in some media that the federal government had directed the release of 70 percent of inmates as part of measures against the spread of the virus.
Staff on duty at the Kaduna facility, north of the country, were hit with various objects during the skirmishes.
Sanusi Mu’azu Danmusa, the Kaduna State Command Controller of Corrections, said the inmates had been overwhelmed and the situation contained with no record of escape.
“The service wants to state categorically that there is no such directive or instructions to the service to release any percentage of inmates,” he said.
Danmusa reiterated there was no case of COVID-19 in the Kaduna Maximum Custodial Centre or any other prison.
He said based on the directives of the Comptroller General of Corrections, Ja’afaru Ahmed, the service had devised adequate measures to contain the virus.
“The service is calling on the general public not to panic as the safe and humane custody of the inmates is our priority,” Danmusa assured.
Ahmed has set up an investigation panel to ascertain the causes of the incidence.
“This is to forestall future occurrences,” Danmusa said.
Nigeria has confirmed 174 cases of COVID -19 as of Wednesday since the first case was documented on February 27.
Two people have died.
– CAJ News