Last Updated on Thursday, 24 March 2016, 13:29 by Jomo Paul
An inmate whose name has been repeatedly mentioned at the Camp Street Prison riot Commission of Inquiry (CoI) was finally called to testify before the tribunal on Thursday.
27-year-old Collis Collison told the three-person commission that since March 2 fires were being lighted and he had made steps to secure his belongings.
Under cross examination by Joint Services Attorney Selwyn Pieters, the man testified that he raised some questions when the prisoners started lighting the fires; however those were shot down by the agitators in the prison.
Officials have claimed that a total of nine fires were lit on March 2 – the day before the deadly fire that snuffed out the lives of 17 inmates.
“Remember sir the prisoners words to me earlier on was nothing ain’t concerning me…I can’t talk against 50 or something man. So I hold my corner and block my face,” said Collison.
He went on to state that on that occasion, there was some paranoia on the part of inmates as they rushed to secure their belongings.
“Everybody was running wild…People all over the place running up and down…there was water all over the place people trying to secure their food and these kinds of things,” the inmate stated.
The inmate who has posted photos of himself with bags of marijuana in front of him told the Commission that contraband is nothing strange to the prison.
He said that besides marijuana inmates have improvised weapons, scissors and razor blades.
While he was being led by Commission Counsel Excellence Dazzle, Collison stated that he was assaulted and dragged after coming out of the Capital A Dormitory on March 4.
“Some officers shackling me feet some shackling me arm and he cuffing me in my face,” he said adding “They hold me by the chain for the foot cuff and the hand cuff and they pick me up and run with me…Then they drag me.”
The man who has been in and out of jail since at the age of 14 said that the other inmates may have gotten scared after they saw the treatment being meted out to him.
“I can’t read their mind, I wouldn’t be able to say why they run back in but I would suggest that is fear,” he stated. (Jomo Brusheildon Paul)