Christopher Isiguzo in Enugu
At least six out of the 15 awaiting trial prison inmates who escaped during the jail break at Nsukka Prisons Wednesday have been rearrested, while the manhunt is ongoing on to capture others.
The Controller of Prisons, Enugu State, Isaiah Amariri, who made the disclosure while speaking with journalists said investigations were still on to fish out the fleeing inmates.
Amariri said the prison service was liaising with security agents and community vigilante groups to ensure that the fleeing inmates, who might be in their various communities, were captured.
Amariri spoke as the state Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi condemned the frequency of jail breaks across the country in recent times reassuring the people of the state however that the recent jail break in Nsukka will not undermine the efforts of his administration to provide adequate security of lives and property in the state.
Ugwuanyi spoke during a fact-finding visit to Nsukka Prison where some inmates had escaped early Wednesday morning.
The governor who described the incident as unfortunate called for collaborative efforts among all stakeholders.
He added that it was regrettable that the incident occurred at a time his administration had taken adequate measures to enthrone peace and security in all parts of the state, assuring the people that the escaped inmates will be rearrested and brought to justice.
While calling for calm, the governor urged prison authorities in the state and beyond to intensify efforts and take pre-emptive measures to ensure that such incident does not reoccur in the country.
“Already, in concert with the security agencies in the state, we have mobilized necessary machinery towards the prompt recapture of the escaped inmates and the prevention of similar occurrences in the future,” Ugwuanyi assured.
Ugwuanyi who donated money for the “immediate” installation of security doors and windows, appealed to residents to assist the authorities with any useful information that may lead to the arrest of the escaped prisoners.
On his part, Amariri reassured that all the escaped inmates will be rearrested.
“There was jail break in Nsukka prisons on Tuesday night between 12 midnight. and 3a.m, in which many inmates escaped, though six of them have been re-arrested.
“I cannot give the exact figure for now as investigations are still on.
We shall send our investigation’s finding to Controller General of Prisons who will make public the exact number and cause of Nsukka Prisons jailbreak.
“The service is liaising with security agents and community vigilante groups and to know the hide out of those still on the run in order to re-arrest them,”he said.
He said that at the end of investigations anybody in service found to have been involved or aided the Tuesday night jail break would be brought to justice to serve as deterrent to others.
“After investigations on the jail break any person in the service found to have been involved or aided the Tuesday jail break will be arrested and prosecuted no matter his or her position.
“Security has been beefed up in around Nsukka prisons with serious surveillance on the prisons facilities, inmates and staff.
“The prisons authorities are on top of the situation and will put measures in place to avoid a repeat of what happened on Tuesday night in Nsukka, “he said
Amariri solicited the help of the general public who might have in information on the whereabouts or hiding place of the fleeing inmates to feel free to report to the prisons authorities or security agents.
“We solicit for help from the general public who may have information about the fleeing inmates to feel free and call prisons authorities or security agents to enable them to re-arrest the escapees.
We promise that such information will be given the confidentiality it deserves and source identity will be fully protected, “he said.
On the challenges facing Nsukka prisons, Amariri said that Nsukka prisons was established about hundred years ago, adding that a man of such age needed extra care to remain healthy.
“This prisons was established hundred years ago and some of the facilities have been over-stretched, the original capacity of Nsukka prisons is 168 but today its accommodating 264 inmates, “he said.