Report reaching ADELOVE revealed that, undisclosed number of inmates on Friday around 11:am gained entrance into the armoury of the Calabar Prison in Cross River State and attempted to escape after a gun duel with warders but were overpowered by combined team of security agents.
The report also gathered that, the incident, caused pandemonium as residents of neighbouring Afokang, Iman and Jebbs areas of the metropolis scampered for safety.
The Afokang end of the prison fence was broken during the incident while two inmates were said to have escaped but the Comptroller of Prisons in the state, Mr. Clement Udosen, denied the claim.
It was, however, not clear how the inmates gained access to the armoury, but it was learnt that a total of 53 rifles were recovered after the incident while one could not be accounted for.
An anonymous prison official said about 17 hardened criminals consisting kidnappers, drug barons, ex-militants and armed robbers were brought to the prisons two weeks ago. He said their arrival sent an alert that something untoward might happen.
An eyewitness, Solomon Okoro, said two of the inmates escaped through the broken fence but one of them was apprehended by vigilant youths in Afokang Street while the other escaped.
Reacting to the development, Udosen said, “By 11 o’clock in the morning, the DC in charge of this prison called me that there was a serious problem. When I came, the whole place was filled with people with rifles, people who had come here to help us, the soldiers, police, civil defence, state security service and others.
“Two cells of about 70 prisoners each organised themselves and overpowered the prison staff and rushed to the armoury, seized some rifles and went back to fire at the staff. In that confusion they broke other cells and the whole yard was filled with inmates.
“Luckily for now they have all been rounded up and nobody has escaped.