Journalism of Courage

Incessant jailbreaks: Senate invites Justice, Interior Ministers, Nigerian Correctional Service boss

The upper chamber also mandated its Committee on Interior to carry out a full-scale investigation into the causes of the attacks on Correctional Centres across the country by unknown gunmen with attendant jailbreaks.

 

By Ajuma Edwina Ameh

Worried by incessant jailbreaks across the country, the Senate has invited the Attorney-General of the Federation and Justice Minister Abubakar Malami, the Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola and the Comptroller-General of the Nigerian Correctional Service, Haliru Nababa.

The upper chamber also mandated its Committee on Interior to carry out a full-scale investigation into the causes of the attacks on Correctional Centres across the country by unknown gunmen with attendant jailbreaks.

Persecondnews.com reports that this followed a motion titled, “Terror attacks on two communities in Plateau North and jailbreak at the Jos Medium Security Correctional Centre Jos, Plateau’’, raised by Senator Istifanus Gyang (PDP-Plateau North) during the plenary on Tuesday.

Raising Orders 42 and 52 of the Senate Rules, Gyang said nine inmates were killed in Jos jailbreak, while 252 inmates escaped.

The lawmaker decried the incident, saying that Jos custodial centre was well fortified and surrounded by major security formations.

He said the invaders responsible for the break “walked through a security zone and broke through to have over 200 inmates escape from the Centre, adding that the warders who put up a fight against the invaders were overwhelmed by the attackers.

Gyang, therefore, called for the reinforcement of physical protection systems and security mechanisms at correctional centres by the Ministry of lnterior to forestall further jailbreaks.

Contributing, Senate Leader, Yahaya Abdullahi, said that correctional centres were the weakest link under the criminal justice system in the country.

He said: “We have challenges, of course with the police, the judiciary but the correctional centres are the ones in which this country has not made the kind of investment required.

“We must look into the entire system of this kind of recurrent attack and look at the entire disposition of our prison system. The prison system is porous.

“Some of the correctional centres were those created since colonial days. About 60 per cent of them were prison systems that were established during the colonial system.”

In his remarks, the Deputy Senate President, Ovie Omo-Agege, who presided over the plenary said: “We have a serious issue regarding this security breach.

“The question becomes why are we having these challenges? Everything President has requested from the National Assembly by way of funding, we have obliged him.

“So the fault is not that of the President. But to whom much is given much is also expected.

“Now, having given all of this funding to the security agencies, why are we still having these challenges?

“I think it is something we need to sleepover. But in the interim, it is clear that we have a serious intelligence gathering gap.”

The Senate, in its resolution, called for a reinforcement of physical protection system and mechanism at correctional centres across the nation by the Ministry of Interior to forestall further attacks.

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