Worried by frequent jail breaks, the Federal Government has ordered a vulnerability audit of all custodial centres across the country.
On September 13, about 240 inmates escaped from the Medium Security Custodial Centre in Kabba, Kogi State, following an invasion by yet to be identified gunmen that killed four soldiers and injured others.
Also, the gunmen, who attacked and freed all inmates at the Abolongo Custodial Centre, in Oyo, Oyo State last week Friday, used grenades and other explosives to bomb the facilities before gaining entry. The Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola, while inaugurating the audit, said its report will identify the fault lines in the security setup and penetration levels of the custodial centres.
The NCoS, Oyo State Command, said 837 awaiting trial inmates escaped from the Abolongo Custodial Centre in Oyo Town when the suspected gunmen attacked the facility.
“The vulnerability audit we have inaugurated today will identify the weakness in our security setup and will help to put in place an effective structure to assist us in better securing our facilities against future external aggression.
“In the past, the challenges to the facilities were usually internal insurrections which our system had been primed to deal with.
“But this new challenge, starting with the #endsars riots of last year, is an armed invasion by gunmen, in large numbers, bearing sophisticated weapons and military-grade ordinances.
“They overrun the place, blow up huge holes on the perimeter fence and overpower our security system.
“We are determined to eliminate the threat from these attackers and ensure that our facilities are no longer vulnerable,” the Minister was quoted as saying in a statement by his media aide, Sola Fasure.
The Minister stated that anyone who breaches the custodial facilities was simply toiling with the sovereignty of Nigeria and must not live to regret such actions.
“The NCoS stands at the heart and end of Administration of Criminal Justice System.
“It is a critical and essential element in keeping those the court thinks must be kept away from our society. You must do all in your power to defend it.
“The custodial centres represent Nigeria’s sovereignty, it’s a sacred institution that signifies her authority.
“Anyone who aims to breach them is simply testing the might and will of the Nigerian state and must not live to regret such actions,” the Minister said.
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