.No functional CCT in Kuje Custodian Centre – Lawan
.DSS personnel didn’t escape from Kuje Prison- Spokesman
By Obiora Ifoh and Adekunle Adesuji
The federal government has vowed to apprehend the 64 terrorists and other fleeing inmates of the Kuje Correctional Centre while also threatening to deal with any form of complicity in the Tuesday night jailbreak where all the Boko Haram terrorists and other high profile criminals escaped.
The government demanded that it be briefed on the outcome of the investigation leading to the jailbreak which led to the death of four inmates and one NSCDC officer.
Spokeman of the Nigeria Correctional Service, Umar Abubakar, confirmed Wednesday that 443 of inmates who escaped after the attack were recaptured, bringing the total number of inmates in the facility to 578.
In a statement released Thursday in Abuja, Minister of Interior Rauf Aregbesola, revealed that security personnel have already combed the whole area, up to a distance of 100 kilometres radius, looking for the escapees.
He also said all checkpoints nationwide have been put on alert, more than 400 of them have been brought in and more are still coming.
The statement signed by Aregbesola’s media adviser, Sola Fasure, said the minister pledged to continue to strengthen all correctional facilities and keep Nigerians safe at all times.
The statement said: “We are working with the Ministry of Defence and the Office of the National Security Adviser as well as other intelligence and security agencies to ensure that the attackers and the escaped inmates are captured and returned to custody.
“As we speak, security personnel are combing the whole area, up to a distance of 100 kilometres radius, looking for them. All checkpoints nationwide have been put on alert. More than 400 of them have been brought in and more are still coming.
“We appeal to all residents to be calm but vigilant. Security is a collective work between government and the citizens. Kindly therefore report all suspicious individuals and activities to the nearest security agency around you. We appeal also to doctors and medical workers to treat and then immediately report anyone with gunshot wounds to the law enforcement agency.
“The minister has directed that all correctional facilities in the country be fortified; that all personnel be vigilant and alert, to avoid recurrence.
“The Minister has directed that full investigation into the incident be carried out and should be briefed as soon as possible.
“If any complicity is established, the Minister has promised that appropriate actions would be taken.”
While explaining what went wrong, Aregbesola said: “The security officers on duty fiercely engaged them and inflicted a heavy casualty on them. Regrettably, given their unprecedented number, they overpowered the officers on duty. One of the security personnel that engaged the attackers was unfortunately killed. May his soul rest in peace. Calm and normalcy have since been returned to the Centre.
“Preliminary investigation indicates that the Boko Haram sect may have been responsible for the attack. The Nigerian Correctional Service (NCoS), in conjunction with other security agencies, are working to bring back all the escaped inmates.”
Senate President, Ahmad Lawan has disclosed that there is no functional Closed Circuit Television (CCT) in Kuje Medium Custodian Center in Abuja adding that the insider may be involved in the attack.
Lawan expressed displeasure on none functional Close Circuit Television ( CCTV) at the prison which incapacitated management and security from preventing and responding appropriately to the attack that led to escape of over 800 inmates.
Senate President wondered how 300 ISWAP operatives accessed the premises of correctional centre on foot, forced their ways into the various cells and released over 800 targeted inmates for over an hour without any counter offensive from security personnel on ground .
Lawan said,” This is unacceptable and will not be condoned . For CCTV and other relevant tracking gadgets not to be functional , are highly disturbing and dangerous for the security of inmates and residents of the Federal Capital Territory .
” The way the operation was even carried out based on inspection made by us , strongly indicate insiders’ connivance which must be critically looked into .”
Responding to questions, Comptroller – General of Nigerian Correctional Service ( NCS) , Haliru Nababa , said 51 security officers were on ground as at the time of the attack .
” Our men and other security operatives like the Army and Police , gave the attackers the required counter offensive which made them to suffer casualty of about four terrorists ” , he said .
Irked by his submission, the Deputy President of the Senate , said killing four out of 300 is nothing to write home about .
” I’ m personally disturbed by this your submission . Killing just four terrorists out of 300 is nothing to me .
” This type of poor response to
heinous crime of this nature is not deterring in anyway because they can attack again “, he said .
The Senate President therefore told the NCS CG to ensure proposals such as procurement of CCTV and other tracking gadgets as well as enough security personnel at the centre in 2023 budget .
He said the Senate Committee on Interior and other security related ones , will very soon summon the CG and other relevant authorities on it Custodian Centres for post mortem review of the incidences and required way out .
” There should be an end to all these issues of jail break or outright attacks .
” Our failing security system must be reviewed and required technology brought to bear because all maximum and medium correctional centres must have functional CCTV and well secured at all times against any form of attack”, he stressed .