Niger State Governor, Alhaji Abubakar Sani-Bello on Monday described as unfortunate the jailbreak at Minna Mediun Prison yard by some armed bandicts. He attributed the cause of the incident to inadequate manpower and attitude to work by some prison personnel.
The Governor said this shortly after inspecting the prison facility in company of Minister of Interior, General Adulrahman Bello Dambazau (rtd), Deputy Governor, Alhaji Mohammed Ahmed Ketso and Comptroller General of Prison, Ja’afaru Ahmed.
Governor Sani-Bello pledged to partner with Federal Government and the Nigeria prison authorities to forstall further occurence by providing logistics support to the facility.
“It is very unfortunate that this has happened and what we have learnt from this visit is that we have to look at the infrastructure and operation mode.
“It is clear that there is shortage of manpower but most importantly, I appeal to prison officers to take their job seriously. There is also need to do more in taking care of facilities especially in prisons where you have condemned criminals “.
The Minister of Interior, Gen Adulrahman Dambazau (rtd)also said that out of the 321 inmates, 210 escaped while about 30 of the escaped inmates have been re-arrested by a joint effort of the prison officials and other security agencies.
The Minister further said that collaborative efforts were on by agencies to ensure the arrest of 182 inmates yet to be apprehended within the next few days.
“There are so far about 182 that are still at large. Initially, 210 prisoners escaped and some of them have been re-arrested and brought back.
Hopefully within the next few days we should be able to track most of them.”
After the assessment, the Minister attributed the incidence to inadequate manpower and lack of infrastructural facilities. Adding that neccessary measures would be put in place to avert further occurrence.
“We came here for on-the -spot assessment and we have seen some gaps. We need to ensure that we cover the gaps to avoid future occurrence.
We don’t want to preempt whatever investigation that would be carried out but certainly there are security gaps which must be tackled so that we prevent future concurrence of this nature.
“As a matter of fact we are very much aware that there is the problem of manpower in the Nigerian Prisons and this is why the portal has been open for the recruitment of 6,000 personnel. We are making efforts to ensure that we cover these gaps but it has to be done gradually and in phases.”
“We are also building a 3,000 capacity prisons in the 6 geopolitical zones so that we will be able to decongest some of the prisoners to those places.” He added
He said that to further secure the prison the Controller General of Prisons has instituted a committee to carryout an investigation on the incidence which he said the outcome would determine the next line of action.
The Comptroller General of Prisons, Ja’afaru Ahmed disclosed that investigation on the jailbreak is ongoing to ascertain more detail and the lapses that brought about the incidence.
Governor Sani-Bello, Minister of Interior , Gen Abdulrahman Dabazzau, is a Comptroller General of Prison, Jaafaru Ahmed were accompanied by heads of security agencies in the state, members of Niger State Executive Council, top government officials from Ministry of Interior and Senior Prison officers from Nigerian Prison Service Headquarters.
It was earlier reported that on Sunday, 3rd June, 2018 at about 8pm, there was a jailbreak at Minna Medium Security Prison located at Tunga area of Minna Metropolis perpetuated by armed criminals who attacked the prison and gain access after exchange of fire with prison armed guards .