Nigerian Army reveals findings on Kuje Prison break

During an investigative hearing conducted by the House of Representatives Joint Committees on Reformatory Institutions, Justice, Police Affairs, Interior, and Human Rights in Abuja on Wednesday.

Major Peter Ogbuinya, the Assistant Director of Commercial Law at the Directorate of Nigerian Army Legal Services, attributed the Kuje prison break on July 5, 2022, to the absence of Close Circuit Television, CCTV cameras at the facility.

Ogbuinya highlighted that following the incident, the army noted the densely populated location of the prison.

“We observed the facility has a low fence and has no CCTV cameras installed in the place before the incident,” he said.

Ogbuinya said the army only plays a complementary role in providing security in Correctional Centres.

“The day the incident occurred, we had a rotation of troops and I would not want to comment on the question regarding the possibility of having an insider.

“Prior to that incident, the Nigerian army wrote a series of letters to the Comptroller General of the Correctional Service concerning our observations and things that would enhance security around the facility.

“We are still working to know if there are any soldiers who failed to do what they were meant to do within the military hierarchy,” he said.

 

 

Mrs Ayoola Daniel, a representative of the Attorney General and Minister of Justice said the ministry was in support of decongesting correctional centres in the country.

She said that the correctional service had been moved from the exclusive to the concurrent list, adding that state governments were expected to take up the responsibility of decongesting the centres.

Also speaking, Mr Philip Ayuba, the Assistant Commandant General of Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, NSCDC, urged the committee to look into the possibility of engaging members of the National Youth Service Corps to provide legal services to prisoners.

“We still have so many young men in prison; we are requesting that NYSC lawyers be sent to prison to look at some of the minor cases so that we can decongest the prison,’’ he said.

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