The Senate on Tuesday, has resolved to summon the Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola, the Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, and the Comptroller General of the Nigerian Correctional Service, Haliru Nababa, to deliberate on the recent cause of prison breaks across the nation; and also to determine the status of correctional facilities nationwide.
According to the Red Chamber, this is necessary in order to find a lasting solution to the recurring invasion of Correctional facilities across the state with the aim of preventing future recurrence.
In the motion titled, “Terror Attacks on two Communities in Plateau North, and Jail Break at Jos Medium Security Correctional Centre, Jos”, brought forward by Senator Istifanus Gyang, during plenary, Gyang noted with grief the multiple attacks on two communities in Jos over the weekend, during which over ten persons reportedly lost their lives.
He disclosed that, the attacks on the Jos Medium Security Correctional Centre, were caused by security breach.
According to Gyang, the prison invaders, responsible for the break, walked through security zones, and broke through, just to have over 200 inmates escape from the Centre. He said, this was after an overwhelming gun battle between the prison wardens an the invaders.
He attested to the fact that, nine (9) inmates, of which include an officer, identified as Umar A. Mohammed, and eight (8) others, were killed during the incident; while about 252 inmates escaped.
The lawmaker again revealed that, among the inmates at large, six (6) were fatally injured, while 10 of the escapees have been re-arrested.
Senator Gyang reaffirmed that, about 63 of the inmates have been sentenced to death, 27 convicted, and 181 on awaiting trial lists.
He frowned at the setback the incident brought to the relative peace, in the Plateau region.
Similarly, Senator Ahmad Babba Kaita, representing Katsina North, blamed the spate of insecurity in the country to inadequate number of security personnel, while Senate Leader, Yahaya Abdullahi of Kebbi North, attributed the recent jail breaks to what he called “porous prisons system.”
On the part of the Deputy Whip, Senator Aliyu Sabi Abdullahi,(Niger North), the string of jail breaks across the country is very ‘unfortunate.’
The Deputy Senate President, Ovie Omo-Agege, who presided over the Tuesday plenary, described the incessant invasion of correctional facilities, as a “serious issue” that must be looked into.
Senator Omo-Agege, who also called for more security funds, said,
“Having given all the requisite funding to the security agencies, why are we still having these challenges? Adding that, without any debate, “It is clear that we (the country), have serious intelligence gathering gap.”
He stressed the need for proper funding of the Department of State Services, (DSS), and other security agencies, for the fight against the criminally minded persons, since according to Omo-Agege, they, (DSS, and other security agencies), are in charge of intelligence gathering, and coordinations.
Senator Omo-Agege afterwards, called on President Buhari, and the leadership of the National Assembly, to consider additional funding for the office of the National Security Adviser, and possibly, that of the DSS, before the 2022 budget is finally tabled for consideration; while also calling for more recruitment for security agencies across the country.
Other lawmakers, who had earlier spoken, unanimously agreed that the recurring attacks of Correctional centers in Nigeria, must be looked into, and more hands be recruited into the security force to ensure safety of the citizens.
A minute silence was observed in honour of the late victims, especially of the recent Jos Correctional Centre attack.