From Petrus Obi, Enugu
Palpable fear pervades Enugu State following the escape of no fewer than 15 inmates from the Nsukka Prisons Tuesday night.
With the whereabouts of the escaped prisoners unknown, there is apprehension among residents of Nsukka and other communities in Enugu.
Following the jailbreak, security has been beefed up in Nsukka and nearby communities, as manhunt for the escaped prisoners has started.
Sources at the prisons said the inmates broke their cells and scaled over the perimeter fence to escape.
The source said: “The inmates carefully opened their cells and scaled the perimeter fence of the prisons. Before prisons officials on night duty knew what was happening, about 15 inmates had escaped.”
The Nsukka Controller of Prisons, Mr. Lawrence Okonkwo, confirmed the jailbreak, but refused to speak further on the matter. He also refused to confirm the number of inmates that escaped.
Said he: “Yes, there was a jailbreak last night (Tuesday) in Nsukka prisons, but I am not in a position to say how many prisoners escaped.”
“We are expecting the Enugu State prisons controller, Mr. Isaiah Amariri, in Nsukka so that we can brief him on what happened.
“He will be the one to tell the public the number of inmates that escaped, the re-arrested ones and efforts put in place to arrest those still on the run.”
Officials of the Nigeria Prisons Service were seen roaming parts of Nsukka and its environs on Wednesday, searching for the fleeing inmate just as unconfirmed reports claimed that two escapees had been rearrested.