FG Sacks 23 Prison Officers Over Jailbreaks

Nigeria Prisons Service, Prison, JailbreaksTwenty-three officers of the Nigeria Prisons Service have been relieved of their jobs for their alleged role in the jailbreaks that occurred recently at Kuje Medium Security Prison in the Federal Capital Territory and Koton-Karfe Prison in Kogi State.

This decision was approved at an emergency meeting of the Civil Defence, Fire, Immigration and Prisons Services Board in Abuja on August 11.

A statement from the Nigeria Prisons Service indicates that 17 junior staff of the Kuje and Konton-Karfe prisons have also been sacked in connection with the jailbreaks.

In addition, the officer in charge of the Nsukka Prison in Enugu State, Mr Lawrence Okonkwo and 10 other staff of the facility have been suspended, to allow for an investigation of the escape of 15 inmates from the prison last week, though six of them were said to have been re-arrested.

The sack comes on the heels of the three jailbreaks that occurred between June and August in Kuje, Koton-Karfe and Nsukka prison facilities, all in Nigeria.

Two inmates escaped from the Kuje prison while 13 others fled the Koton-Karfe prison.

The Nsukka jailbreak was the recent where 15 prisoners escaped, just as six escapees were rearrested.

Enugu Governor Orders Immediate Fortification Of Nsukka Prison

Ifeanyi-UguwanyiEnugu State Governor, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, has ordered the immediate fortification of the five cells at the Minimum Prison, Nsukka.

The directive follows the jail break incident in the prison in which 15 inmates in the Awaiting Trial Men Cell escaped as six of them have been recaptured.

Governor Ugwuanyi was on inspection tour of the prison to ascertain what caused the incident.

He was received by the Deputy Comptroller of Prisons in-charge of Enugu State, Mr Lawrence Felix.

Addressing the prison officials, he ordered the immediate release of 1.5 million Naira for the outright fortification of the five cells in the prison to avert such  incident from reoccurring.

The Governor also directed the Police Area Commander, Mr Monday Kuryas, to step up security around the area.

He urged the prisoners to be obedient and law abiding while he asked the people of Enugu State to remain calm, saying that their safety was his priority.

The prison official on his part bemoaned the structural problem of the prison, saying that the cells were mere relics of the colonial masters without proper burglary proofs and iron security doors.

Enugu Prison
Front view of the prison described as ‘mere relics of the colonial masters’

He said that investigations were ongoing, stressing that suspicions were high that the jailbreak might have been successfully carried out by the inmates in collaboration with a former inmate who was conversant with the terrain and have aided the escapees.

The Minimum Prison, Nsukka was built in 1934 with initial capacity of 186 inmates but presently has 254 prisoners with 95% on awaiting trial.

The Enugu State Comptroller of Prisons, Mr Isaiah Amariri, had confirmed that six inmates were re-arrest, but declined to give the exact number of inmates that escaped from the prison.

The Enugu incidence is coming about two weeks after 13 inmates escaped from the Koton Karfe Medium Security Prison in Kogi State.

FG Will Restructure Nigerian Prisons – Dambazau

Abdulrahman Dambazau PrisonsThe Minister of Interior, Lieutenant General Abdulrahman Dambazau (Rtd), says the Federal Government will commence total restructuring of Nigeria’s prisons.

He announced the plan on Tuesday at a meeting organised for senior officers of the Nigeria Prisons Service (NPS) in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory.

The Minister said that the reform is coming as part of measures to forestall cases of prison breaks in the near future.

General Dambazau noted that the present situation of prisons across the country calls for structural changes as some of them have not been remodelled in the last 100 years.

He informed the officials that another area the government would focus on is the provision of close circuit cameras for adequate security, as recommended by the House of Representatives.

The Interior Minister further warned that the government would not fail to take punitive measures against officers who become complacent in the discharge of their duties.

The meeting became important after the jail breaks in Kuje Prison, Abuja and another at the Koton Karfe Prison in Kogi State happening within two months.

The Comptroller General of the Nigeria Prisons Service (NPS), Jafaru Ahmed, on his part gave an update on the recent Koton Karfe prison break.

He called on all senior officers in the Prisons Service to buckle up as he equally vowed that the law would catch up with any official found wanting.

Mr Ahmed also urged Nigerians to provide information that would be helpful to officials of the NIS in the discharge of their duties.

13 Inmates Escape In Kogi Prison Break

Prison Break, Kogi PrisonA prison break has occurred at the Koton Karfe Medium Security Prison in Kogi State.

The incident occured at about 7.10am on Saturday.

About 13 inmates are said to have broken their cells and escaped through the fence. Three of the 13 are convicts.

The inmates at the new prison site broke the wall of the parameter fence and escaped into the bush.

Governor Yahaya Bello in the company of the Commissioner of Police and some political office holders were at the Koton-Karfe prison to see things for himself, but was denied access to the prison yard as there was no prison official to take him round.

The officer in charge of the prison, Kosso Lawal, was said to have left before the Governor’s arrival.

Bello was received and briefed by his Special Adviser on Security, Jerry Omodara, who was already at the prison.

Some of the information available to Governor bello was that the welfare officer of the prison allowed the inmates access to their phones and this enabled them to communicate with their family members and gangs outside.

It was also reported that military men who were deployed to the prison yard to guard it were not allow to go inside, their beds and property are kept outside where they sleep.

A prisons officials said that this is one of the rules guiding the prisons that only their officials are allowed in.

Governor Bello was was displeased and had to put a call across to the Kogi State Prison Controller, Musa Yahaya Maza, who was said to be at home in Lokoja.

This is about the third time a prison break is taking place at the Koton Karfe Prison.

The Kogi State Governor, Bello Yahaya, has called on the federal government to investigate the incident.

While addressing pressmen, he said it was a conspiracy involving some prison officials and promised to get to the bottom of the incident. He told the officials to arrest the escapee inmates or risk losing their jobs.