John Adams, Minna
More facts have emerged as to why some armed men invaded the Minna medium security prison, on Sunday night, killing a prison officer and a commercial motorcycle operator.
Minister of Interior, Lt.-Gen. Abdulrahman Bello Dambazau (rtd), on Monday, in Minna, said that the armed men might have come to free two condemned criminals whose death warrants were to be signed today (Monday).
Speaking to newsmen after an on-the-spot assessment of the prison in Minna, on Monday, Dambazau said that two condemned prisoners where among the escapees.
“Among the escapees were two condemned criminals who were supposed to have being executed today. That is probably part of the motivation for this prison break.
“However, investigation will bring out most of these things, and I am sure we will get to the root of this, at least to forestall future occurrences”.
He however disclosed that 182 out of the 210 prisoners that were in the Prison at the time of the incident are still at large.
The Minister admitted that there were some security gaps in the prison which made the operation easy for the invaders, assuring that such gaps must be covered immediately.
“The visit here today revealed that there are some security gaps which must be tackled to prevent future re-occurrance.”
He, therefore, said that a committee has been set up to investigate the cause of the incident, adding that the Ministry would work with the outcome of the committee.
The Comptroller General of Nigeria Prison Service, Alhaji Ja’afaru Ahmed, who accompanied the Minister, dismissed insinuation that there were Boko Haram inmates in the prison which probably could be the reason why the prison was attacked.
“There is no Boko Haram suspect in Minna Prison facility. We do not know who attacked the prison yet but investigations will reveal it”.
Niger state Governor, Alhaji Abubakar Sani Bello described the incident as unfortunate adding that the state is set to partner with the federal government towards ensuring that there is no future reoccurrence.
He further said that the incident have opened the eyes of the government that there is shortage of manpower in the Nigeria Prison service.