By Gbenga Ariyibi & Esther Onyegbula
Ado Ekiti—The Federal Government has set up a panel of inquiry to uncover those behind the attack on the federal prison, on Afao-Ekiti Road, Ado-Ekiti where some inmates were set free.
Minister of Interior, Comrade Patrick Abba Moro made this revelation yesterday during the commissioning of 12 convenience rooms built by United Bank For Africa, UBA, for Ikoyi Passport office of the Nigeria Immigration Service.
The minister confirmed that 274 out of the 320 prisoners who escaped are still at large while 46 have been recaptured by security agencies.
He said: “The Ado Ekiti prisons were attacked in the early hours of December 1, 2014. The preliminary report that I have is that about 320 inmates out of the 446 inmates escaped.
“As I speak with you, a reasonable number of those inmates, about 46 of them have been recaptured and the search for others is going on. And the Nigerian prisons services officials are also going to police stations to recover all those who have been arrested by other security agencies. At the appropriate time we will be able to give you all the figures.
‘’The attack on the Ado Ekiti prison which is similar to that of the attack on Kotonkarfi, Kogi state, which occurred a couple of months ago is the same pattern of desperate people outside who are possibly friends and accomplices are in jail and have attempted to forcefully release them, luckily only the section of the awaiting trial inmates of the prisons were attacked.
“What these attacks have brought to the fore is that there is need for reinforced perimeter fencing in our prisons which is being done now at Kotonkarfi, Kogi state, in view of the recent attacks and similarly because of the ease with which both prisons have been attacked and broken into, the need to reinforce our concrete fencing of the prison becomes an imperative need.”
The minister said he would not pin down the attack on any group till investigation was concluded.
“At the moment I don’t want to attribute the occurrence in Ado Ekiti prison to some conspiracy theory or attack by insurgents. We will get to the root of these attacks through a multi-sectional investigative panel put in place to find out the culpability or otherwise of those suspected to be involved and when we are through we will appropriately inform the Nigeria public”
He praised the Nigerian Immigration Service, NIS, especially Ikoyi Passport office headed by Deputy Comptroller Of Imigration, DCI, Modupe Anyalechi for adequately keying into the transformation agenda of President Goodluck Jonathan, especially in the area of attracting the private sectors to partner with government to deliver service to Nigerians.
”I recommend this attitude to other formations of the Nigerian service. I can tell you that the restructuring and repositioning of Nigeria is on course and hopefully with the cooperation of all and sundry the Nigerian Immigration Service will soon become a new immigration service for a new Nigeria.”
He commended the UBA Foundation for demonstrating the will to partner with the transformation agenda of the current administration under the watch of Goodluck Jonathan, to drive the administration of Nigeria.
“Perhaps for you it is a drop in the ocean, in the might ocean of the Nigerian economy but for us in the immigration service it is an enormous contribution.”
How police re-arrested 46 escapees
No fewer than 46 inmates who escaped from the custody of the Federal Prisons, Ado Ekiti on Sunday during the invasion of the prisons by yet to be identified gang have been re-arrested by the police,just as the state governor, Mr Ayo Fayose has called for the total overhauling of the entire workforce in Ado Ekiti prisons over alleged complicity.
Speaking in Ado Ekiti, the Command’s Public Relations Officer, Mr Victor Babayemi, said the escapees were re-arrested at different divisions in all the 16 local government areas of the state.
Although police put the figure of those re-arrested at 67, Internal Affairs minister, Abba Moro says only 46 had been picked up.