Vanguard gathered that the inmates at the ‘F’ line of the prison yard apartment which serves as the awaiting trial male, ATM cell, conspired within themselves, with an alleged hand at the prison yard who smuggled in the ladder which the inmates used to scale the perimeter fence of the yard.
A dependable source told Vanguard that the inmates have for long been contemplating on how to perfect their escape as the ATM ‘F’ line was allegedly being used as punishment cell for inmates who are not in the good books of the officer in-charge of Nsukka prisons; while those in single cells allegedly enjoy the use of smart phones, ipads among others with the alleged compliance of both the officer in-charge and the chief discipline officer, CDO, of the prison yard.
Officers on night duty
Prison officers on night duty last Tuesday were clamped into detention pending investigations of the jail break in Nsukka. Investigations revealed that the warders on duty allegedly never expected something of that sort, having been romancing the inmates as jolly good fellows.
Reports revealed that the chief displicine officer, CDO, allegedly did not visit the yard on inspection and patrol, believing that it was business as usual with the inmates.But the inmates at ‘F’ line of the yard tactfully opened the cell, scaled through the perimeter fence with help of the ladder allegedly made available.
In-charge of Nsukka prisons
Mr. Okonkwo Lawrence Okonkwo, confused with the development, told newsmen in Nsukka that he discharged his duty to the best of his knowledge, posted the men and supervised them before going to bed.
“I supervised my men that fateful Tuesday night before going to bed. Whatever happened after my patrol and supervision was not to my knowledge. I cannot talk officialy to the press on the issue. Investigations are being carried out to unravel the circumstances of the jail break,” he noted.
Visit of Enugu State Controller of prisons
Enugu State Controller of Prisons Service, Mr. Amaliri Ifeanyi, Tuesday, around 2.30pm in company of the ACG of the Zone, Mr. M.D Natalar paid a working visit to Nsukka prisons to assess the extent of the incident and conduct numerical roll call of the inmates and officers.
Ugwuanyi reassures residents on security
Meanwhile, Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State has reassured the people of the state that the recent jail break in Nsukka will not undermine the efforts of his administration to provide adequate security of lives and property in the state.
Gov. Ugwuanyi spoke during a fact-finding visit to Nsukka Prisons.
The governor who was accompanied to the prison by the Transition Chairman of Nsukka Local Government Area, Prof. Mrs. Rose Onah, and other top government functionaries, described the incident as unfortunate, adding that the frequency of jail breaks across the country in recent times is highly condemnable and calls for collaborative efforts among all stakeholders.
He added that it is regrettable that the incident occurred at a time his administration had taken adequate measures to enthrone peace and security in all parts of the state, assuring the people that the escaped inmates will be rearrested and brought to justice.
While calling for calm, the governor urged prisons authorities in the state and beyond to intensify efforts and take preemptive measures to ensure that such incident does not reoccur in the country.
The governor said: “Already, in concert with the security agencies in the state, we have mobilized necessary machinery towards the prompt recapture of the escaped inmates and the prevention of similar occurrences in the future.”
Gov. Ugwuanyi who donated money for the “immediate” installation of security doors and windows, appealed to residents to assist the authorities with any useful information that may lead to the arrest of the escaped prisoners.
In his remark, the Controller of Prisons, Enugu Command, CP Ifeanyi Amaliri, who was represented by the Deputy Controller of Enugu Prisons, Felix Lawrence, thanked the governor for the prompt visit and reassured him that all the escaped inmates will be rearrested.
Shortly after an in house neeting with officers and men of Nsukka prison, the state controller told newsmen that the incident of the jail break occurred between 12 midnight and 3am of Tuesday, confirmed that six of the inmates has been re-arrested, saying that actual number that escaped will be disclosed by the Controller General of prisons.
Amali noted that the service were able to re-arrest the fleeing inmates with the assistance of other security agencies.
Amali said: “Investigations are ongoing for the purpose of being very sure and exact on the figure, we cannot for now ascertain the number of the fleeing inmates. We are making efforts to do that, which is what I have been asked to do. The security details on how the inmates escaped are still been looked into, at the moment we cannot not think of carrying out roll calls of the inmates because of security implications. There are checks and measures we will have to apply to tackle the internal affairs of the service.”
“The service has instant laws to deal with this kind of situation. If found out that any of our staff was involved in aiding the inmates in the act of getting away from the facility. The full wrath of the law would be enforced from the hierarchy of the service. The controller General will give further details on the number of inmates who are still on the run on the level of the service,” he stressed.
Congestion of Prisons
“The jailbreak cannot be blamed on the congestion of Nsukka prisons. The prison was established about 100 years ago and a man of 100 years is old. The place is yearning for a new attention. The fleeing inmates when re-arrested will be taken to court while a warrant of escape from custody will be prescribed on them,” he said.