Six Killed In Abakaliki Attempted Jail Break, Prisons Boss Says

Dave-Umahi-and-Ja-afaru-AhmedThe Nigerian Prisons service has confirmed that six inmates were killed and 10 wounded during Thursday’s attempted jail break by inmates at the Abakaliki Prisons in Ebonyi State.

The Comptroller General of the Nigerian Prisons Service, Ja’afaru Ahmed, gave the figure in Abakaliki the Ebonyi State’s capital when he visited the prisons on an on the spot assessment of the unfortunate incident.

The Comptroller General, who also visited the Ebonyi State Governor, Dave Umahi, at the Government House said he had set up a three-man committee to investigate the true cause of the incident.

He said that the investigation would enable the government know the proper steps to take to prevent further occurrence.

After a one-hour closed-door meeting with the Governor, the duo came out to address reporters.

The Comptroller General confirmed the number of inmates that died during the unfortunate incidence while disclosing that he has set up a three-man committee to look into the actual cause of the incidence.

He further urged the criminal justice system of Nigeria to look into prison decongestion, as many of the inmates had been awaiting trial for a long time.

This situation, according to him, has increased the number of inmates that were originally designed for accommodation in the prisons.

In his response, the Ebonyi State Governor, who had earlier visited the Abakaliki Prisons, commended the leadership of the Nigerian Prisons for their quick response and expressed displeasure over the infrastructural state of the Abakaliki Prisons which made him declare a state of emergency on the prisons.

He said even though the state government would help solve some of its infrastructure challenges, the Federal Government would need to move in immediately and address the challenges of infrastructure and welfare in the Abakaliki Prisons for both inmates and prisons’ officials.

Meanwhile, the Ebonyi State Police Command has asked all citizens of the state to remain calm and law abiding and go about their normal duties, as all measures were in place to ensure that there was no breakdown of law and order in the state.

In the meantime, security has been beefed up in the prisons and its environs and one of the major doors damaged by the inmates has being repaired.

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.

Authorities Begin Investigations Into Inmates’ Riot Thought To Be Jail Break Attempt

attempted jail breakThe Nigerian Prisons Service has set up a probe panel to look into inmates riot at the Apapa Kirikiri medium prisons on Friday, which was widely reported as a jail break attempt.

Confirming the riot to Channels Television on Saturday, the spokesman for the Nigerian Prisons Service, Mr Ope Fatinikun, dismissed reports that it was a jailbreak attempt.

“It was a riot and not a jailbreak. There is a difference between a jailbreak and a riot. yesterday’s unrest was a riot.”

He said that the probe panel was set up by the Acting Controller-General of Prisons, Aminu Sule.

“The panel would be headed by the Assistant Comptroller-General of Prisons Operations and they will unravel the cause of the riot.

“There were seven casualties yesterday, three inmates were treated, four were admitted into hospital.

“This morning one of those four died and we are having three in the hospital presently.

“At this stage it will not be wise to look at the cause of the riot since the probe panel had been set up,” Mr Fatinikun stressed.

He said that the panel report would be ready before the end of the week and would be made public.

Eyewitnesses said the inmates protested on Friday against poor welfare conditions. The said that the prison authorities had to wade in, with the use of force, after the riots got out of hand.

One of the inmates who wouldn’t want to be identified told Channels Television that following the resumption of a new head of prison, some of the welfare materials meant for the prisoners was not released, a situation which they claim had suddenly made life difficult for them.

The inmates said that they were unhappy with the situation and would want relevant authorities to look into it.

Jail Break Not Unusual, Inmates Always Want Freedom, Expert Tells Prison Authority

A security expert, Olatunbosun Abolarinwa on Tuesday said the recent prison break which led to the release of 175 inmates from the Ondo medium security prison is a wake-up call to the Nigeria Prisons Service.

“It is a time for authority to wake up,” he said.

Speaking as a guest on Channels Television’s breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily, Mr Abolarinwa disapproved the durability and strength of the prison structure which he says does not need any expertise to break through. He described it as an ‘eye sore’.

Although guns and explosives were used in facilitating the prison break, Mr Abolarinwa disagreed with the Ondo State Comptroller of Prisons, Tunde Olayiwola, who had said the occurrence was an ‘unusual’ attack.

He explained that the psychology of all inmates in focused on how to be free from prison, hence jail  breaks will always happen. This he said, is why maximum security prisons require beefed up security.

He said the recent spate of prison breaks in the country calls for concern. However he asked people to exercise caution in linking the attacks to terrorist groups.

“There is need for proper investigations to be carried out in order for us to be able to establish the facts and figures in this before we jump to conclusions”.

He said that the prison authority needs to focus on proper archiving and profiling of inmates, which will facilitate recapture of escaped persons.

He however questioned whether the authorities are already doing this.

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.