By Adenike Lucas
The Comptroller-General of Nigeria Prisons Service, Mr Ja’afaru Ahmed has set up a three man panel to carry out an investigation into the circumstances surrounding the escape of 13 convicts from Koton-Karfe.
The escapees, half of whom were apprehended immediately by security operatives were said to have brought down a prison wall in order to make their escape in the early hours of Saturday 30th July.
This break out at the all men prison facility which saw prisoners compromising of 10 pre-trial detainees and 3 convicts, is said to be the third one to have taken place at this Kogi State penal institution.
The medium security facility first witnessed its first prison break in 2010 and 2013. Records shows that in one jail break attempt 132 inmates escaped from the prison – majority were awaiting trials.
Although, the State’s Comptroller of Prison, Mr Musa Maza is yet to provide a statement on this current jail break, it has been confirmed by the Public Relations Officer (PRO) of the NPS, Francis Enobore that six out of the 10 pre-trial detainees have been re-arrested.
The prison located in Kogi State, north central of Nigeria was built in 2014 and is supposed to house 180 prisoners, however, recent count indicates that 283 inmates were present at the detention center at the time of this jail break.
After taking office in November 2015, the Interior Minister pledged to reform internal security
Gen. Abdulrahman Dambazau (rtd) the first Nigerian army General to obtain a PhD, ordered an improved security at the Kuje Medium Prison. He is set to roll out a similar programme in jails nationwide, to forestall escape of inmates.
The 3 man panel set up by Mr Ahmed is set to address congestion, particularly among prisoners awaiting trial, in line with the Gen. Dambazau’s reform agenda.