20 prisoners escape in Ogun jailbreak; prison boss pledges discipline

prisoners in a cell

Twenty inmates of the Sagamu Prisons in Ogun State on Thursday forced their way out of the prisons after successfully perforating  the prison wall.

PREMIUM TIMES gathered that the jailbreak occurred at about 3.00 a.m., which led to serious injuries to some of the inmates as well as prison officials.

Reports have it that there was heavy gunfire inside the prisons while the prison break lasted.

There were also reports of the use of various dangerous weapons by the prisoners, who were later curtailed by the members of the Armed Squad of the Prison Service.

Some prisoners and officials are feared injured from the incident.

However, as at the time of this report, one of the run-away prisoners, PREMIUM TIMES learnt had returned voluntarily to the prison yard while another was said to have surrendered himself to the police.

Prison authorities however said they have re-arrested four of the escapees.

Some of the prison officials are already being interrogated by the police over the jailbreak.

The Comptroller General of the Nigeria Prisons Service, Zakari Ibrahim, confirmed the incident on Friday  during an inspection of the prisons.

The prisons boss told journalists, who were not allowed into the prison yard, after about one-hour inspection of the damage done to the prison facilities that four of the runaway prisoners had been re-arrested and brought back to the prison.

He disclosed that an investigation team had been put in place to ascertain the causes of the jailbreak, declaring that any prison official found culpable would be dismissed and prosecuted.

“The essence of the visit is a follow-up to the seriousness we attach to the issue of security because security is one of our major mandates in the prisons and this administration has said it over and over again that we would not tolerate any breach of security, especially when it points at any form of negligence.

“We’ll bring in the police and other sister agencies responsible so that we prove that we’ll not tolerate any lack of commitment to job, especially the one that touches on security,” the prisons boss stated.

Mr. Ibrahim said that before his visit, he had sent a high-powered team to the prisons after the jailbreak.

“Any staff found culpable would face the full wrath of the law which will include dismissal and it could also include prosecution’.

“What I can tell you now, because full investigation is on, is we have about twenty escapees and some of them have been arrested now and full investigation is on.

“About four of them have been arrested. But what you must just go with now is that any staff that is found culpable would be dealt with accordingly,” Mr. Ibrahim said.

When asked on the number of casualties recorded during the jailbreak, he appealed to newsmen not to be anxious as investigations were ongoing.

“Don’t worry, I’ve told you investigation is on and you should also know that when there is an incident like this there should be full investigation,” he explained.

Mr. Ibrahim emphasised that the ongoing investigations into the incident would prove whether external forces played any role in the jailbreak, noting that the integrity of the prison structure had not been compromised.

“External influence? Investigations would prove that. In terms of the structure, you can see the wall is solid and on top we have fence wire.

“Everything is okay but we are talking about the human beings now, the human factor and I’m telling you that if investigation indicts any person that has not done his job the way he’s supposed to do it, it can lead to dismissal and even prosecution and the person may change uniform,” he said.

There has been an increase in jail and prison breaks across Nigeria including places like Edo, Adamawa, and Abuja.

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