Tony Osauzo, Benin
Hell was let loose on Benin City yesterday as all 1,500 inmates including 120 condemned criminals were set free from the Oko Medium Security Correctional Centre by the #EndSARS protesters who swooped on the facility.
Nine inmates were reportedly killed while trying to escape, just as others escaped with gunshot injuries.
The hoodlums who had hijacked the protest were said to have been emboldened to carry out the attack on the facility a few hours after they successfully attacked the Benin Correctional Centre and freed inmates.
The surging protesters were said to have overpowered the five armed guards in the facility and had a free day looting all shops along the sides on the road into the prison and carting away valuables from offices of prison officials.
According to sources, immediately after the attack on Benin Prison along Sapele road, security was alerted in Oko but that calls to the Nigerian Army and the Police for reinforcement were not heeded hence the ease with which the suspected hoodlums overpowered the prison guards.
The Oko Correctional Centre has the capacity to accommodate 1300 inmates but it was learnt that no fewer than 1,500 inmates were in the facility out of which are 120 condemned criminals.
“They came in their thousands and their mission was to free inmates. They have been communicating with the inmates because even before they broke into the facility, the inmates were already rioting inside the place”, a prison source said.
It was further gathered that before the attack on Oko Correctional Centre, the suspected hoodlums had sacked the Oba Market Police Station, ransacked its armoury and went away with their guns and some police uniforms, just as suspected hoodlums attacked Ugbekun police station and set it ablaze.