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Nigeria: Coverup in Nigerian Prison As TB Hits, Kills Several Inmates

Senior officials, including those in charge of the facility in Katsina, have attempted a coverup to avoid accountability, sources told this newspaper.

At least 20 inmates have died of pulmonary tuberculosis and about a hundred suffered the infection in the old Katsina custodial centre, insiders have told PREMIUM TIMES. They described the incident as an effect of corruption and a “shockingly poor” state of hygiene and health services in the 104-year-old facility. Senior officials, including those in charge of the facility in Katsina, have attempted a coverup to avoid accountability, this newspaper learnt. Also, officials, who should know because their role involves receiving reports on such development, were kept in the dark, PREMIUM TIMES understands.

A senior official expressed shock that “such thing could be happening and I will not know but I will not dismiss it.”

The prison, constructed in 1918 by the British, has an installed capacity of 300 inmates but currently holds about 900, an official said. Medical experts say living in an overcrowded space and poor nutrition and environmental hygiene raise the risk of TB spread from an infected person. Due to a weak and sluggish criminal justice system, many suspects still undergoing trial languish in prisons, causing severe overcrowding in the facilities and a tremendous risk of spread of contagious infections such as TB.

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