Facts have continued to emerge on what led to the death of five inmates and hospitalization of another seven in the electrocution that occurred at the Ikoyi Prison, a major correctional facility in Lagos.
The inmates were said to have been electrocuted in their cells following a power surge at about 7am on Monday.
But sources within and outside the correctional facility revealed that the incident which eventually claimed life of five inmates on Monday, was not the first time of such incident.
It was gathered that three weeks ago, an inmate suffered a shock due to same situation.
The sources attributed circumstance that led to the incident which claimed five lives and hospitalisation of another seven, to improper electrical wiring, poor mainatance, negligence of Prison’s officials and poor welfare.
The report of the Eko Electricity Distribution Company (EEDC) on the incident, the company which is the supplier of power to the facility, has also confirmed claims of the sources.
According to the EEDC’s report titled: “Re: Investigation Report on Third Party Accident at Ikoyi Prisons”.
It read:” We were informed on Monday 2nd December through newspaper sources about third party electrocution at Ikoyi Prisons. A team consisting of Island District Staff (DLO, DSM, SMD) went to the Prisons for an investigation into the alleged electrocution. On gaining access to the prisons, we met with AGP Tukor (prisons HQ,Abuja) who had also come to investigate the incident also. The team were shown round by the coordinator of Ikoyi prisons ACP Ogunsakin Tolu and went to the scene of the incident.I
“t was gathered that the incident happened a few minutes before 7am on Monday 2nd December 2019 and that the inmates had gone to bed without supply the previous night. Supply was restored around 4am on Monday.
” It is claimed that one of the electrical wires (which was a dangling wire, not trunked or pined to the ceiling or wall)in the cell got cut and fell on the iron bunk which the inmates sleep on. Most of the victims were sitting on the bare floor without any footwear and without clothing, and sitting around or leaning on the iron bunk bed when the incident happened.
“It was gathered that 5 inmates were electrocuted to death and 2 injured (who were on the bunk with mattresses on it). The injured inmates were attended to at the clinic and seen by medical doctors at the prisons and have now returned to their cells.
As at the time of this report, the scene of the incident has been cordoned and isolated.
“Ikoyi Prisons have been advised to seek the help of professionals to evaluate the electrical wiring of the prisons and make corrections on some connections to prevent any other occurrence”.
The report affirmed that the primary causes of the accident were as a result of; improper electrical wiring of the cell; as wires were left dangling without proper trunking or pinning.
Inadequate planned and periodic maintenance of electrical wires and other equipment in the prisons.
While contributory cause was said to be the inmates exposured to electricity from the iron bunk which served as conductor as they had no shoes or cloth on to serve as insulation and prevent/reduce current flow which led to grounding.
Meanwhile, a Lagos based right activist and lawyer, Gideon Okebu, has condemned prison authority over the incident.
He had threatened to sue the Federal Government and others appropriate authorities if he was not satisfy with outcome from the panel intended to set up by government on the incident.
“There must be punishment for this, some official must punish because it is a clear case of negligence, funds are allocate for proper management of Prisons but when you visit this facilities you will shock on what is on ground there”, he said.
Similarly , an activist for prison reform and Executive Director, Prisoners’ Rights Advocacy Initiative (PRAI) , Mr Ahmed Adeola-Kazeem, has also declared intention of his organisation to sue government as well on the matter.
The legal practitioner, Adeola-Kazeem said what his organisation is just waiting for is outcome of the panel promised to be set up by the government.
He decried the state of Correctional Facilities in the country.
“Our Correctional Facilities which in the actual sense are still prisons; are in very terrible states. The recent electrocution of inmates of Ikoyi Correctional facility attests to this fact.” The cells are terribly overcrowded and the facilities are grossly delapitated which gives room for disasters like this and many unforeseen ones.
” There is need to build more Correctional Centres, there is need to decongest and renovate the existing ones and there is need to ensure speedy trials if we hope to put an end to this scourge.
” Our Correctional facilities do not meet or conform with the minimum International standards; even animals in the barns live better; we need to be ashamed of the condition of Criminal Justice Administration and I hope the President , the Minister of Interior, the CJN and the AGF would do what is right and on time to as those who are principally responsible to correcting the wrongs.” he said.