Thursday, 8th June 2023

Senate probes jail-breaks, to summon Aregbesola, Malami, Nababa over attacks

By Adamu Abuh, John Akubo, Ernest Nzor (Abuja) and Isa Abdulsalami Ahovi (Jos)
01 December 2021   |   3:06 am
The Senate, yesterday, mandated its Committee on Interior to investigate the remote and immediate causes of the frequent jailbreaks across the country.

Rauf Aregbesola

C-G of NCS links menace to lack of funds, deployment of technology, B’Haram

The Senate, yesterday, mandated its Committee on Interior to investigate the remote and immediate causes of the frequent jailbreaks across the country.

It resolved to summon the Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola; Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami and Comptroller-General of the Nigerian Correctional Service (NCS), Haliru Nababa, to determine the status of correctional centres nationwide, with a view to determining the challenges and preventing future recurrence.

These were part of resolutions reached during the plenary following a motion brought by Senator Istifanus Gyang, titled: “Terror Attacks on two Communities in Plateau North and Jail Break at the Jos Medium Security Correctional Centre.”

Citing orders 42 and 52 of the Senate Rules to present his motion, Gyang lamented the multiple attacks on two communities of Ta’egbe, Rigwe land and Durbi, Sheri District in Bassa and Jos East councils, which led to the death of no fewer than 10 persons at the weekend.

He said nine inmates, including an officer identified as Umar A. Mohammed, were also killed, while 252 inmates escaped during the jailbreak, adding that six inmates were fatally injured, 10 of the escapees were re-arrested, 63 sentenced to death, 27 convicted, while 181 were awaiting trial.

Speaking, Senator Ahmad Babba Kaita (Katsina North) blamed rising insecurity in Nigeria on the inadequate personnel in the country’s various security agencies.

He, therefore, called on the National Assembly to rise to the occasion by appropriating more funds to security agencies to enable them to recruit more personnel.

On his part, Senate Leader, Yahaya Abdullahi (Kebbi North), attributed the recent jailbreak in the country to what he described as a ‘porous prisons system.’

Also, Deputy Whip, Senator Aliyu Sabi Abdullahi (Niger North), described the incessant jailbreaks across the country as “unfortunate,” adding that the development, which should be tackled head-on was a fallout of correctional services being the weakest link in Nigeria’s criminal justice system.

Deputy President of the Senate President, Ovie Omo-Agege, who presided over the plenary, yesterday, described the security breaches at correctional facilities, as a “serious issue” that must be reviewed.

Omo-Agege also canvassed better funding of the National Security Adviser’s (NSA) office to facilitate intelligence gathering.

Consequently, the Senate in its resolutions advocated reinforcement of physical protection systems and mechanisms at correctional centres by the Ministry of Interior to forestall further jailbreaks.

MEANWHILE, Nababa has blamed the lack of adequate funding on the inability of the service to deploy technology to custodial centres nationwide.

He stated this yesterday during a visit to the Jos Medium Security Custodial Centre, which was attacked on Sunday evening by gunmen.

Nababa, who was represented by the Deputy Controller-General (Operations), Mohammed Tukur Ahmad, explained that there was no way custodial centres would be adequately manned manually except with the help of technology.

RESPONDING, Head of the Correctional Centre in Jos, Francis Enobore, indicted herdsmen over the Sunday jailbreak, but Nababa pointed out that since the investigation was ongoing, where the attackers came from and other answers would be unravelled at the end of the inquiry.

Besides, Nababa also argued that Boko Haram insurgency and other groups demanding the release of their members constituted security threats to correctional service.

He stated this in Abuja at a lecture with the theme: Community Correction in Criminal Justice System

Transition From Prison to Community organised by Shamies Unusual Heart Foundation.

Represented by Controller of the Correctional Service, Nwakeze Emmanuel, he noted that overcrowding remained a major challenge for the service.