Several buildings located inside popular Kuje Prison, Abuja, was engulfed in flames – A group called the Prisoners Against Injustice in Nigeria (PAIN) claimed responsibility for the attack – The fire which allegedly started around 10:45 am meant to draw the attention of the world to the sad state of prison system
Online newspaper, Sahara Reporters, has reported that a major fire has engulfed in several buildings inside Kuje prison, Abuja. NAIJ.com gathered that a group calling itself the Prisoners Against Injustice in Nigeria (PAIN) has claimed responsibility for the fire which reportedly started around 10:45 am. The buildings affected are the moribund clinic block, Custody 2, which is the home to 153 awaiting trial inmates, convicts block (custody 3) where 322 inmates are crammed into, and Custody 4, another awaiting trial block where additional 306 inmates are packed.
The group made the claim in a handwritten statement posted on the prison notice board before it was removed by the prison authorities. According to PAIN the attack was meant to draw the attention of the world to the sad state of prisons and corruption within the system.
PAIN said they burnt down the overcrowded cells to ensure that spacious replacements is built. The group in its statement described the recent death of Samuel Mba, on Tuesday, June 27 an inmate awaiting trial but remanded in Kuje prison for the past four years as the last straw.
The group blamed Mba’s death and many other inmates on gross negligence, corruption and lack of basic medicines and equipment to treat emergencies and routine health challenges. The group described the prison clinic building as a dead place housing non-functional equipment to deceive visitors. In spite of the annual budgetary allocation to the Nigeria Prison Service, the group said inmates must buy medicines through prison staff and seek funds to treat serious conditions in healthcare facilities outside the yard.
While a total of 781 inmates have been displaced, PAIN added that the situation should get the attention of the judiciary to accelerate trials and grant bails where applicable.
In a previous report by NAIJ.com, Adedeji Adeleke, father of Nigeria’s award-winning musician Davido secured the release of two hundred prisoners in Osun state after he paid their fines.
According to the vice chairman of the Springtime Development Foundation owned by Adedeji Adeleke, the foundation also provided seven hundred mattresses and pillows for inmates at the prison in Ilesha. Vice Chairman Banji Adesuyi who was at the prison on Tuesday, July 18, noted that the foundation decided to help the inmates after Adeleke visited the prison.