After a botched attempt to escape, four prisoners of Ikot Ekpene Prison, Akwa Ibom State of Nigeria who sustained gun shots have lost their life.
During the attempt too, officials of the prison had recaptured seven while search parties have been activated to recapture the 36 fleeing prisoners.
In a press release, ASP Ogbajie J. Ogbajie, Command Public Relations Officer for the Controller of Prison, Akwa Ibom State Command said about 1147hrs on Wednesday, December 27, 2017, some prisoners attacked kitchen staff who were on duty at Ikot Ekpene Prison in Akwa-Ibom State.
Ogbajie said “They seized an axe from fellow inmate attached to the kitchen, inflicting a deep cut to 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 that chased after them in battle.”
Meanwhile, Alex Oditah, the Controller of Prisons, Akwa Ibom State Command, has ordered an investigation into the circumstance surrounding the unfortunate incident.
The CP wishes to appeal to members of the public to assist the authority with useful intelligence that will aid arrest of fleeing prisoners, assuring that security has been strengthened in all prison formations in the State to forestall a breach of security.
The first jail break occurred at the Kuje Medium Prison on June 24, 2016, just five weeks after the new Controller-General of Nigeria Prison Service (NPS), Ahmed Ja’afaru took charge. Again, on July 30, 2016, 13 inmates escaped from the Koton Karfe Minimum Prison in Kogi State.
The Nigeria Prisons Service (NPS) claimed it had recaptured six of the escapees who are pre-trial detainees, with the assistance of other security agencies and vigilante groups, as well as individuals, and had been returned to the prison. However, the remaining five are still at large.
On the August 8, 2016, there was another jailbreak in Nsuka, Enugu State where 15 inmates, comprising 10 pre-trial detainees and three convicts allegedly escaped from the Nsuka Prison, again without any external help. And although the Enugu State controller of the Nigeria Prisons Service, Isaiah Amali claimed not to know the exact number of the escapees, he said six of them have been recaptured.
Just 10 days after, there was an attempted jailbreak in Ebonyi State. The Ebonyi Controller of Prisons, Mrs Adaobi Oputa, confirmed that some inmates actually tried to escape from the prison by trying to break one of the walls. However, unconfirmed reports has it that some 14 persons were shot dead while others sustained injuries from gunshots.
Interestingly, the recent rave of jailbreaks in the country has a different signature from what was experienced between 2013 and 2015, another period of frequent jailbreak.