The Controller-General of Nigeria Prisons Service (NPS) Mr. Jaffaru Ahmed, has disclosed that 28 inmates of Ikot Ekpene Prisons that escaped during jailbreak on December 27, 2017, are still at large.
Ahmed disclosed this to newsmen after an inspection of facilities at Ikot Ekpene Prisons on Friday.
The Controller-General, who described the facilities at Ikot Ekpene Prisons as well fortified, attributed the jailbreak to lapses on the part of prison staff.
“About 40 inmates found their way out of Ikot Ekpene Prisons in a broad daylight around 11.45 a.m.
“They took on the lapses that they saw, perhaps they have been planning it for a very long time, and actualised it on December 27, 2017, when they saw the opportunity.
“The 28 that are at large are very hardened criminals; some of them are kidnappers awaiting trial, some are facing capital offences and therefore it is something to worry [about],” Ahmed said.
He, however, assured Akwa Ibom citizens and the entire nation that the fleeing inmates would soon be captured to face their trials.
He added that any staff found wanting would face the full wrath of the law.
The Controller-General debunked insinuations from some quarters that the jailbreak was due to infringement on the fundamental rights of the inmates.
“These prisoners were not rioting because there was maladministration in the prison system, but they organised it in order to get freedom illegally. That is what actually happened,” he said.
“It was not that they were not being fed or given medical attention or not taken to court.”
Ahmed commended the Akwa Ibom Government for the support given to the Nigeria Prisons Service and appealed for more.
He thanked allied security agencies for their cooperation, and sought for coordination to enable the service capture the fleeing inmates, and ensure peace and order in the state.