Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State.
…Number of rearrested inmates increases to 120
…Jailbreak was successful because lessons were not learnt from previous ones- Ex DSS director
By Evelyn Usman
There are indications that Monday’s jailbreak at the Kabba Medium Security Custodial Centre, MSCC in Kogi state might have been politically motivated following insinuation that most of the freed inmates were bandits who had planned to attack the state.
This followed an earlier intelligence report which, according to sources, revealed plans to carry out coordinated attacks on Adavi, Ankpa, Idah, Koton-karfe, Yagba East, Yagba West and Mapamuro areas of Kogi state.
Schools were also not left out in the planned attacks according to intelligence reports, as schools in Kabba, Lokoja and Dekina, were reportedly targeted.
Sources told Vanguard that raids were carried out in some areas of the state, where some suspects alleged to be connected with the planned attacks were arrested.
The jailbreak, as gathered, would not have been unconnected with the arrest of the bandits, some of whom were said to be awaiting trial.
Meanwhile, additional six inmates who escaped during the jailbreak have been rearrested, bringing the total number of rearrested inmates so far, to 120 out of 240.
Senior Special Adviser to the State Governor on Security, Commander Jerry Omodara (rtd) who made the disclosure stated that concerted efforts were still on to arrest others, informing that security apparatus were being rejigged to avoid a reoccurrence of such in the state .
He disclosed that high profile criminals were released during the jailbreak, indicating that the action was thoroughly planned.
Barring his mind on the jailbreak being politically motivated, Omodara, said, “ If you say it was politically motivated, I won’t shy away from that because we have high profile criminals there. What happened cannot be far from politics because of the emerging political situations in the country.
” But we will not look at what has happened. Rather, we will be very focused on what we are doing and ensure we do not allow this to distract us but put our eyes on the ball, to be sure we keep the state safe.
“The attacked facility is a federal institution. That notwithstanding, the response to the attack was fantastic. For now, I can tell you that about 120 of the inmates have been rearrested. We are moving very fast to make sure we get all the inmates back into the cell because that will rebuild confidence.
“Kogi used to be one of the worst states in terms of security in this country. People avoided the state because it was the capital of kidnappers. But that changed along the line because concrete steps were taken to contain insecurity by this present administration.
“We see the incident of Monday as a setback on our records in terms of security but it will also make us prepare more and rejig our architecture”, Omodara stated.
Former Director, Department of State Services, Mr Dennis Amachree, in his reaction to the jailbreak, attributed it to lack of structure in the correctional centre.
He said, “ Kogi Medium Security Correctional Facility was breached because lessons were not learnt from previous jailbreaks in the state and indeed in the country at large. These faults can be found in the structures of our prisons. Some of these prison environments are not designed to prevent a breach.
“There are no standard reinforced perimeter walls. No anti-scaling concertina wiring on the walls and definitely no alarm system to alert the guards of a breach.
“Secondly, prisoners are still locked up like animals in a zoo, rather than being helped to reform them from their crimes. Unless we correct these anomalies I can tell you another prison break is around the corner,” he said.