Emmanuel Okoro, the Controller of the Nasarawa State Command of the Correctional Service of Nigeria, on Thursday, refuted reports of a section of the media claiming that there was a leak in the jail of the former Keffi prison.
Okoro denied the news while talking to journalists in Lafia, adding that what happened in prison was a reaction of some angry prisoners who were not allowed to smoke cigarettes inside the prison yard.
The Controller explained that inmates were denied access to cigarettes because it was contrary to service regulation, reports NAN.
“These interns here are for us to correct them; we cannot allow them to give themselves up to habits that expose them to further damage in the prison yard,” he said.
Okoro, who said he visited the facilities after the incident, revealed that smokers became aggressive until officials could contain them and controlled the situation.
According to him, no inmate escaped or was injured during the altercation with service officials.
“I was there and talked to some of the inmates, and they told me that they had no plans for a jailbreak and that all they wanted was to smoke. “Then I informed them that it was illegal to allow smoking on the premises and they apologized.
“Let’s be clear on this; what they demanded to smoke were cigarettes, not Indian hemp or other hard drugs. While I speak to you, the situation is under control,” he added.
Okoro, however, said the command would set up a committee to immediately investigate the matter to make recommendations on how to prevent something so ugly from happening in the future.
“We are creating a committee to unravel the remote cause of the confrontation. “In a week, we will have a better idea of what happened. But remember my words, what happened was not a jailbreak,” he insisted.
The Controller also expressed his dismay at the speed at which some journalists jumped to the conclusion and reported unverifiable stories without first contacting the corresponding authority.
Therefore, he urged journalists to verify the information before going to press.