Jailbreaks: FEC Approves Purchase Of Firearms For Prison Officials

The Federal Executive Council (FEC) on Wednesday approved the purchase of 400 Beretta assault rifles with 20,000 rounds of ammunition for officials of the Nigeria Prisons Service.

The Minister of Interior, Abdulrahman Dambazau announced the approval at the end FEC meeting held inside the council chamber. The meeting was chaired by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo.

Dambazau said the arms and ammunition will be purchased at the cost of N272 million.

He noted that this will prevent further jailbreaks in the country.

“If you recall, not too long ago, our prison in Minna was attacked from the outside and some of the dangerous prisoners were freed.

“The prison has an armed squad. We realised after an investigation of that attack that one of the major shortcomings within that prison was lack of adequate arms and ammunition.”

One prison official and a motorcyclist were killed in June 2018 during the process of a jailbreak at the Medium Security Prisons in Minna, the Niger State capital.

Two Killed As Gunmen Attack Niger Jail, Free Prisoners

File photo of a prison in Nigeria

 

The Nigeria Prisons Service has confirmed a jailbreak at Minna Maximum Security Prison.

The spokesperson of the prison service in Niger State, Rabiu Shuaibu, said the incident occurred on Sunday night at the prison, which is in Tunga area of Minna Metropolis.

Two persons, a prison warder and a commercial motorcyclist, were killed in the process of the jailbreak.

“The unfortunate incident was perpetrated by armed criminals who attacked the prison and gained access after an exchange of fire with armed prison officials.

“This led to the death of a prison officer and an Okada rider (commercial motorcyclist) who conveyed a prison officer on night duty,” Shuaibu said.

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The spokesperson added that the number of prisoners on the run is still being compiled but some of the fleeing prisoners have been rearrested.

“The Prison authority in Minna is profiling the number of fleeing inmates to ascertain the escaped prisoners. So far, through the combined effort of all security agencies in the state, seven prisoners who attempted to escape have been recaptured and returned to the prison.”

The prison service has since called on residents of the area to go about their normal activities noting that normalcy has returned and security agencies are working to ensure that fleeing inmates are recaptured.

Niger State Governor Abubakar Bello has however visited the Minna Minimum Prison on Monday morning to access the situation.

In 2014, a similar jailbreak occurred at the Minna maximum prisons where hundreds of inmates were freed.

However, the Minister of Interior, Abdulrahman Dambazau after his visit to the prison facility confirmed that 210 inmates escaped from the Minna Maximum Prisons in Niger State.

Dambazau told journalists on Monday that over 35 inmates who fled have, however, been rearrested.

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.

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.

Jail Break: Danbazzau Visits Kuje Prison

Danbazzau, Kuje Prison, Jail breakThe Nigeria Prisons Service will carry out an appraisal of the security arrangements at all the nation’s prisons.

The Minister of Interior, Lieutenant General Abdulrahman Danbazzau (Rtd) revealed this when he visited the Kuje Prison in Abuja.

Two inmates escaped from the Kuje Prison during a jail break at the weekend.

General Dambazau explained that the new arrangement will ensure that there is no re-occurrence of weekend’s jail break.

2015 Elections: Court Backs Prisoners’ Vote

prisonersA Federal High Court sitting in Benin, Edo State, has ruled that prisoners should be able to vote in all national and local elections in Nigeria.

The ruling by the Federal High Court comes barely two months to the general elections slated for February 2015.

The suit was instituted by Victor Emenuwe, Onome Inaye, Kabiru Abu, Osagie Iyekepolor, Modugu Odion (for and on behalf of inmates of Nigerian prisons), against the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the Comptroller-General of Nigeria Prisons Service.

The plaintiffs had asked the court to determine whether having regards to the provisions of section 25 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999, the plaintiffs are not entitled to be registered as voters by the 1st Defendants.

In his judgement, Justice Mohammed Lima said, “To deny inmates the right to vote is unconstitutional, illegal, irregular, unlawful, null and void and of no effect whatsoever.

“Being an inmate is not an offence that impedes their registration and voting right under section 24 of the Electoral Act,” he added.

The Judge ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission to update its register of voters to take into account the prison population.

The court also directed the defendants to ensure that the applicants are not disenfranchised.

The February 14 presidential election would pitch incumbent President, Goodluck Jonathan, against his strongest challenger and former military Head of State, General Muhammadu Buhari.

President Jonathan had recorded a victory over General Buhari in 2011, amid claims of rigging.

Jonathan Sacks Prisons’ Comptroller General

Aminu_Sule
The former Comptroller-General of Nigeria Prisons, Aminu Suleh

President Goodluck Jonathan has removed the Comptroller General of Prisons, Aminu Suleh, and announced an immediate replacement.

His removal on Friday came days after a prison was attacked in Ekiti State, by gunmen believed to be members of the Boko Haram terrorist group.

More than 400 inmates were set free in the attack carried out on Sunday at about 11:30pm, local time.

President Jonathan approved the appointment of Dr Peter Ezenwa Ekpendu as the new Comptroller General of Prisons.

Profile

The new Comptroller General of Prisons is from Ibeku Okwuato in Mbaise Local Government area of Imo State in south-east Nigeria.

Kogi_prison_break
One of the prisons that were attacked by suspected members of the Boko haram sect. Prisons escaped through the wall ripped open.

He had his Primary school Education at St Patrick’s School Ibeku, Okwuato in Aboh Mbaise Local Government Area while his Secondary School education was at Mbaise Secondary School, Aboh Mbaise. He had his Teachers’ Training College Education at Azaraegbelu Teachers’ Training College Emekuku, Owerri.

His tertiary education was at University of Nigeria, Nsukka where he obtained his B.Sc (Hons) in 1981, MED in 1984 and PHD in 1988. Dr. Ekpendu also attended the Prestigious National Institute for Policy and Strategy Studies (NIPSS) Kuru Jos in 2007.

Before his present appointment as the Comptroller General, he held various positions in the prisons.

He was Deputy Commandant Prisons Training, College, Lagos-1991-1994; Officer-in-Charge of Umuahia-1995-1996; Officer in charge of Owerri Prisons-1997-1998 and Deputy Comptroller of Prisons Training, Prisons Headquarters 1999.

He was also Comptroller of Prisons Pension, Prisons Headquarters – 2000; Comptroller of Prisons of Enugu State 2001-2003, Imo State 2003-2005 and Delta State 2006.

He was promoted Assistant Comptroller General of Prisons (Operations) 2008 and was deployed as Zonal Coordinator Zone D, Minna – 2009-2010 and he became Deputy Comptroller General (ITP) in 2011.

Before his new appointment, he was made Deputy Comptroller General (Administration) in 2012.

Truck Kills Bus Conductor In Benin City

Governor of Edo State, Adams Oshiomhole

A truck belonging to a beverage company crushed and killed a young man named Osas this evening at the King square in Benin City.

Eyewitnesses told our correspondent that Osas, a bus conductor, was arguing with the truck driver, who was said to have bashed his bus, when he was pushed by the driver and crushed by the moving truck.

The driver has been arrested and is in the custody of the Edo State Police Command.

Meanwhile, an attempt by a prisoner to escape from the Prison at Sapele Road in Benin City was thwarted by a combined effort of policemen and prison wardens.

The prisoner was seen running on top of the prison wall before a prison warden accosted him before he could jump off the wall from the shallow end of the barbed wires.

His escape was ill-timed as several policemen were just leaving the court premises where they had gone to provide security for Esan North East Local Government election tribunal sitting.

175 Prisoners Escape in Ondo Prison Break

The Medium Security Prison of The Nigeria Prisons Service located in Olokuta, along Ondo Road Akure, Ondo State Capital has been broken into leading to the escape of about 175 inmates.

According to the Controller of Prisons in Ondo State, Tunde Olayiwola the attackers arrived at about 12:05 armed with guns and explosives which they used to break the prison wall, which led to the escape of the inmates.

It all started when gunmen, numbering about 30 at about 12:05 this morning, attacked the Medium Security Prison, Olokuta, Ondo Road, Akure, shooting sporadically, with bullets penetrating the fortified walls, gates, and floors.

They gained entrance into the prison by using explosives, which shook the foundations of the prison to blast the wall when they could not enter through the steel door at the main entrance.

Meanwhile, the Public Relations Officer of Ondo State Police Command, Wole Ogodo in an interview with newsmen in his office allayed the fears of the people of the State.

The Police image maker however noted that the attack has nothing to do with terrorists’ attack such as Boko Haram.

The State Police Commissioner Mr Patrick Dokumor and The State Commissioner for Justice and Attorney General, Eyitayo Jegede were part of top public officials that visited the prison this morning to assess the situation, where bullets and the explosives the armed men used for the operation still littered the whole vicinity.

The prison which was built in 1989 was meant to accommodate 160 inmates.