The Edo State Police Command on Monday confirmed the escape of 10 suspects from one of the cells in the State Criminal Investigation Department (SCID) in Benin City.
The police said contrary to reports that the incident happened on Saturday, the suspects escaped from their cell on Friday, January 1 at about 2.45am.
PREMIUM TIMES reported on Sunday that several criminal suspects including kidnappers, armed robbers, fleeing prisoners, and cultists had escaped from the custody of the Edo State Police Command.
Authorities in the state police command, however, did not respond to several calls to confirm or deny the development.
However, in a statement on Monday, Chidi Nwabuzor, the state Police Public Relations Officer, said two of the escaping suspects had been re-arrested while efforts were on to nab the remaining eight.
The statement read in part, “Reacting to the publication that has gone viral on social media and other platforms alleging that hundreds of suspected armed robbers and kidnappers escaped from the State Criminal Investigation Department (SCID) facility, the Edo State Police Command wishes to inform the general public that ten suspects escaped on the 1st of January, 2021 at about 0245hrs (2.45am), out which two have been re-arrested and brought back to custody. The figure is not as being maliciously and falsely speculated on social media.”
Giving a breakdown of the suspects, Mr Nwabuzor said, “That eight (8) of the suspects were detained on the order of the court, in summary; stealing- 1, Murder- 1, Cultism-3, Robbery-3, while the other two (2) were under Police investigation for stealing. It is worthy to note that the quick mobilisation and response of officers curbed further escape of the suspects.”
The statement confirmed PREMIUM TIMES’ report that the policemen on duty in the SCID and other security operatives when the incident occurred had been arrested and detained.
“The Policemen who were responsible for the safe custody of the escaped suspects have been identified, arrested, and detained for the departmental disciplinary process. Effort is being intensified to re-arrest the fleeing suspects,” it added.
Mr Nwabuzor said the command had the wherewithal to re-arrest all the fleeing remaining eight suspects.
“The command has the wherewithal/intelligence to re-arrest the remaining suspects who are on the run but will still appreciate any useful information from the members of the public as no stone will be left unturned in assuring that all those suspects are re-arrested,” he said.
He assured members of the public of the command’s continued commitment to protecting the lives and property of law abiding citizens.
But facts emerged on Monday that the 10 suspects strolled out of their cell unhindered and unchallenged.
A police source said, “At about 9pm on December 31, 2020, one of the policemen had gone to attend to one of the detainees and thereafter locked the cell with a padlock, but unknown to him that it was not locked very well as the lock did not fit in properly.
“One of the detainees who observed that the padlock did not properly fit into the cell iron burglary proof then told others in detention of the present situation where they then agreed to escape from the cell one after the other.”
The Assistant Inspector-General of Police in charge of Zone 5, Sholla David, who visited the state command headquarters in Benin City on Monday, gave a marching order to the deputy commissioners of police to ensure that all the 10 feeling suspects are re-arrested.
Support PREMIUM TIMES' journalism of integrity and credibility
Good journalism costs a lot of money. Yet only good journalism can ensure the possibility of a good society, an accountable democracy, and a transparent government.
For continued free access to the best investigative journalism in the country we ask you to consider making a modest support to this noble endeavour.
By contributing to PREMIUM TIMES, you are helping to sustain a journalism of relevance and ensuring it remains free and available to all.
TEXT AD: To advertise here . Call Willie +2347088095401...