Reps Express Concern Over 7,000 Prisoner Escapes from Nigerian Jailbreaks



By Milcah Tanimu

The House of Representatives has raised alarms about the increasing number of prison breaks in Nigeria over the past eight years, with over 7,000 inmates escaping during this period. Lawmakers are urging President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to establish a judicial panel of inquiry to address these frequent prison attacks and prevent future breaches of the country’s security infrastructure.

During their last session, the representatives directed the Committees on Interior and Reformatory Institutions to work with relevant federal agencies to implement threat management protocols in correctional centers nationwide. Additionally, the House mandated that inmates be enrolled in the National Identity Number system to improve data collection and management.

A comprehensive report is expected within four weeks to guide further legislative actions. The House noted that from September 2015 to July 2023, there have been 17 reported jailbreaks across Nigeria, highlighting a recent incident in Niger State where 118 inmates escaped during a rainstorm. This event underscored the ongoing vulnerabilities in the nation’s correctional facilities.

Lawmakers pointed out that prison officials often lack adequate training in combat and confrontation, making it difficult to defend against such attacks. They emphasized the need for upgraded prison facilities with well-trained security personnel, fortified walls, perimeter fences, sturdy gates, and modern surveillance equipment to detect and prevent security breaches.

These resolutions followed a motion by Rep Kabiru Alhassan Usman Rurum from Kano State, who highlighted the alarming trend of frequent attacks on custodial facilities, leading to the escape of both convicted and awaiting trial inmates. Rurum warned that these escapes pose a significant threat to society and undermine the country’s security architecture. He stressed the need for stringent measures to prevent future incidents and ensure national security.


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