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Ebonyi Declares State of Emergency on Prisons Over Foiled Jail break

By Ignatius Okpara

EBONYI, NIGERIA (AFRICAN EXAMINER) – Ebonyi State Governor, Dav Nweze Umahi, has declared a state of emergency on Abakaliki Prisons, following a botched jailbreak by the inmates on Thursday.

The Governor made the pronouncement when he visited the prison yesterday’s evening. AFRICAN EXAMINER recalled that the Ebonyi incident is coming less than two weeks after over 15 inmates at the Nsukka prison in Enugu State broke their cells and scaled over the perimeter fenced. Specifically, the Nsukka incident took place on Tuesday 9th, August 2016.

A statement issued by Umahi’s, Chief Press Secretary CPS, Emma Anya, quoted the Governor as saying, “Early in the morning (Thursday), I was told of an attempted jailbreak by inmates of Abakaliki Prisons.

” The Commissioner of Police Peace Ibekwe-Abdallah) reported the incident to me and did promise that they police) were re-inforcing.

“She told me she had contacted all the security Chiefs in the State and they have successfully prevented the inmates from escaping.

“Luckily, I am told that the prisoners are not complaining of any maltreatment and malnutrition.

The statement added “I was told that those who attempted the escape are those awaiting trial.

“I was told that there are so many of them awaiting trial. This is not good for us.”

The Governor, therefore, directed the state Director of Prisons, Adaobi Oputa, to compile such cases and send to enable him put head together with the state’s Chief Judge, Justice Aloy Nwankwo, to fast-track justice.

Umahi equally expressed concern over the level of infrastructure decay in the Abakiliki Prisons, pointing out that such development was not good for the inmates. He noted that the structures were built in the 1960s, just as he expressed the readiness of his administration to partner the prisons management to address the facility problem.

According to him, “Ebonyi State Government could suspend one or two things and would want to at least, de-roof some of the buildings and re-roof them”.

The Governor also hinted that his administration would provide sporting facilities in the prisons in
order to keep inmates engaged.

He noted that the structures were built in the 1960s, just as he expressed the readiness of his administration to partner the prisons management to address the facility problem.

According to him, “Ebonyi State Government will engage those in the prisons and keep them away of thinking of how to escape.

“When they are engaged, they will not have time to think about crimes, what we have here cannot reform anyone.

He said “We have to reform them and reintegrate the good ones into our society.” Umahi stated.

Meanwhile, there is tension in Abakaliki, the Ebonyi state capital, following news of the botched jailbreak.

 

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