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Three inmates escape Nigerian prison

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By Abraham Adekunle

This is amidst recent boast of zero jailbreaks by Nigerian Correctional Service.

In a surprising turn of events, three inmates have managed to escape from the Ijebu Ode Correctional Centre in Ogun State, just two days after the Nigerian Correctional Service proudly declared zero jailbreaks across its 253 custodial centers nationwide in 2023. The escaped convicts are identified as Hammed Adeboyejo, convicted of armed robbery and murder; Fatai Taiwo Akande, also convicted of murder; and Aliu Oguntona, serving time for sexual offenses. The revelation of the jailbreak came through a statement issued by the Ijebu Imusin Area Command of the So-Safe Corps, which was later confirmed by the Public Relations Officer of Nigeria Correctional Service, Ogun State Command, Mr. Victor Oyeleke.

According to the statement, the inmates made their escape around 3 am on a Saturday, prompting authorities to initiate a search operation to bring the fugitives back into custody. So-Safe Corps Commander, Soji Ganzallo, initially expressed ignorance regarding the jailbreak, creating a level of confusion. However, the Public Relations Officer of the NCoS, Ogun State Command, confirmed the incident, assuring the public that efforts were underway to locate and apprehend the escaped prisoners in record time.

There must be a coordinated approach to tackling the issue.

The NCoS emphasized its commitment to resolving the situation promptly, highlighting the existence of biometric data and contacts of the fugitives’ families as valuable resources in their search efforts. Cooperation with other Security Agencies was also underscored, indicating a coordinated approach to tackling the issue. The escape is particularly noteworthy considering the recent statement by Assistant Controller of Corrections Abubakar Umar, the spokesperson for the NCoS, who proudly proclaimed a flawless record of zero jailbreaks and attacks in the country’s custodial centers throughout the year.

Umar attributed this achievement to comprehensive security measures and the dedication of security personnel, as well as collaboration with various stakeholders. The spokesperson’s earlier statements now face scrutiny in the wake of the Ijebu Ode Correctional Centre jailbreak, raising questions about the effectiveness of the proclaimed top-level security measures. The incident also challenges the narrative of an impregnable custodial system that was presented just days ago. In response to inquiries, Victor Oyeleke acknowledged the occurrence of the escape, providing details on the timeline and the ongoing efforts to rectify the situation.

Incident prompts a reassessment of Nigerian prison security.

Also, the fact that the incident transpired mere days after the NCoS highlighted its success in maintaining secure custodial facilities adds a layer of irony to the situation. While the NCoS had assured the public that the absence of jailbreaks in 2023 reflected a commitment to upholding law and order, the escape in Ogun State raises concerns about potential vulnerabilities in the system. It prompts a re-evaluation of the effectiveness of existing security protocols and their adaptability to evolving challenges within correctional facilities.

As the ongoing search for the escaped inmates continues, it serves as a poignant reminder of the imperative for perpetual vigilance and a proactive stance in safeguarding custodial centers. This incident prompts a reassessment of the prevailing narrative depicting a seemingly impregnable correctional system. The dynamic nature of security threats and the unpredictable behaviour of inmates necessitate a reconsideration of existing protocols. It underscores the need for adaptability and continuous improvement to address emerging challenges within correctional facilities. The escape highlights the ever-present risk factors that demand a robust and evolving security framework to ensure the resilience and effectiveness of the country’s correctional systems.

Continuous improvement needed to prevent such incidents.

Summarily, the escape of three inmates from the Ijebu Ode Correctional Centre challenges the recent declaration of zero jailbreaks by the Nigerian Correctional Service. It underscores the need for continuous improvement in security protocols and a comprehensive assessment of the factors contributing to such incidents. As the search for the fugitives intensifies, the NCoS faces the task of addressing the implications of this escape on its credibility and reinforcing its commitment to ensuring the safety and security of custodial facilities across the country.


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