Benin prisoners

 

Highlights

• 1,993 prisoners escaped in Edo, weapons looted

• The hoodlums came in large number, bearing dangerous weapons and attacked the officers on guard duty

The Federal Government yesterday described as unconscionable attacks on two custodian centres in Beinin, Edo.

Tensions rise in Nigeria as some 2,000 inmates escap ame in attacks on prisons

It said no fewer than 1,993 inmates escaped from the centres at the last count. The government also said besides freeing the inmates, the attackers looted the centres including weapons in their armoury.

It said: “They came in large number, bearing dangerous weapons and attacked the officers on guard duty.

The attackers looted the centres including weapons in their armoury

“They were unmistakable on their mission, which was to force the cells open, free the inmates and carry out other nefarious activities.” Providing updates on the incident, the Director of Press in the Ministry of Interior, Alhaji Mohammed Manga, said: “Two Nigerian Correctional Service (NCoS) Custodial Centres in Benin City and Oko in Edo State were attacked yesterday by protesters purportedly under the #ENDSARS aegis, freeing (at the last count) 1,993 inmates in legal custody and looting the centres, including the weapons in their armoury”.

Manga however said in a statement that the situation has been brought under control while security in and around the custodial centres nationwide has been beefed up. He added that investigation has commenced on the matter to determine the full impact of the attack.

Manga said: “Peaceful protest is legitimate and guaranteed as a fundamental right of citizens, operating as individuals and groups.

“However, attacking a custodial centre is a criminal act which detracts from the advertised objectives of the movement and capable of imputing impure motives to its drivers.

“It must be reiterated the custodial centres are high-security zones. The primary duty of the institution is to keep custody of convicted criminals and awaiting trial suspects; this comes before their reformation. It is integral to the justice administration system. “The integrity of the custodial centres is therefore fundamental to justice. Inmates of the centres are expected to pay their dues to society, undergo reformation and be reintegrated into society as changed-for-better persons.

“When this process is disrupted in any way, the integrity of justice and societal renewal is subverted, with dire and unimaginable consequences.

 

NP/Fatimah/Punch

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