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Four killed, 14 recaptured, 36 missing in Akwa Ibom jail break


• FG to decongest prisons as 126 inmates regain freedom
• Minister pays N1.3m Court fines for 114 prisoners in Kuje Prison

Four inmates were reported killed at the Ikot-Ekpene Federal Prisons while attempting to flee from the corrective facility after successfully breaking the prison walls.

However, the prisons warders were able to recapture 14 fleeing inmates, while 36 of them are still at large.

Following the jail break, the Akwa Ibom State Comptroller of Prisons, Alex Oditah, has set up a committee to investigate the circumstances that led to the ugly incident and gave the committee one week to summit its findings.

A statement signed by the command Public Relations Officer, ASP1 Ogbajie J. Ogbajie in Uyo, Oditah said 14 out of the 47 fleeing inmates were re-captured within Ikot-Ekpene and its environs.

Some of the prisoners had attacked kitchen staff on Wednesday, December 27, 2017 at the Ikot Ekpene Prisons.

They were reported to have seized an axe from fellow inmate attached to the kitchen and inflicted a deep cut on inmates’ head in the process and immediately made for the rear entrance to the prison.

They broke the door with the axe and engaged the staff, who were chasing them. At the end of the scuffle, four of them that sustained gunshots died, while seven of them were recaptured.

However, 36 of the inmates are still at large, as a search has been intensified in an attempt to recapture them.

Meanwhile, no fewer than 126 inmates in Kuje, Suleija and Keffi prisons yesterday regained their freedom from the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN) and Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Mohammed Bello.

While Malami secured freedom of 10 Kuje inmates who were sentenced to various jail terms with option of fine but were unable to pay, Bello footed the bill for the fine options at the Sulieja and Keffi prisons to the tune of N1.3 million.

Also, Chief Judge of Abuja Court and Chairman, Presidential Stakeholders Committee on Reforms and Prisons Decongestion, Justice Ishaq Bello, granted freedom to one Abdullahi Musa, who has been in prison custody for 16 years, having been convicted for murder.

Musa was originally sentenced to death by hanging and eight years after, the term was reviewed to life sentence by Sokoto State government.

Malami noted that congestion of the nation’s prisons negatively affects the quality of justice delivery system and also impacts adversely on the human rights of inmates.

Their offences ranged from theft, smoking of Indian hemp, fighting and armed robbery among others.

Bello, who was represented by the FCT Permanent Secretary, Christopher Ohaa, made the announcement in Abuja when the Presidential Committee on Prisons decongestion visited the Kuje Prison.

Controller of Prisons, FCT, Sylvester Nwakuche, while welcoming the committee members, decried that the facility, which was meant for about 50 inmates currently houses about 823 inmates.

Out of the number, Nwakuche noted that 601 inmates were awaiting trial, adding that the longest serving awaiting trial was 11 years, while the longest serving convict had spent only seven years in custody.

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