Protesting Edo youths free prison inmates

Confusion broke out yesterday in Benin, Edo State, when protesters on the Benin-Auchi highway freed some inmates being conveyed to court.

The demonstrators, comprising tipper drivers and youths, were protesting the killing of a man identified as Frederick popularly known as Original allegedly by a policeman deployed to provide security for expatriates in a construction firm.

It was learnt that Frederick was shot at close range during an argument with the policeman, whose identity was yet to be ascertained.

The protest started after news filtered in that Frederick had died.

The protesters barricaded the Benin-Auchi highway at the by-pass axis.

Several vehicles were destroyed by the protesters as motorists sought alternative routes.

A vehicle conveying prison inmates to court refused to turn around and was attacked by the protesters.

The protesters also attacked the prison warders in the vehicle.

One of the prison officials managed to run into the bush with wounds and was rescued by some residents. He was taken to a private hospital.

Spokesman for the Nigeria Correctional Service, Aminu Suleiman, said details of the attack were still sketchy.

Suleiman said the officials were on duty when they were attacked.

A source in the area said the warden was found inside the bush with an injury in his hand. He was bleeding seriously.

Security personnel were said to have been deployed in the area to search for the runaway inmates.

The state Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), DSP Chidi Nwabuzor, could not be reached for comments.

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