ISWAP Conspired With Prison Officials To Free Boko Haram Inmates – Senate President Claims

The Nigerian Senate President, Ahmad Lawan after visiting the Kuje prison that was attacked by terrorists stated that there are clear indications that officials within the correctional system conspired with terrorists to enable Tuesday’s jailbreak at the Kuje Medium Correctional Centre, Abuja to be successful. The Senate President made the allegation when he visited the correctional facility in company with some members of the Senate on Thursday.

The Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP), an offshoot of Boko Haram terrorists with affiliation to ISIS, had claimed responsibility for the attack that led to the escape of hundreds of inmates, amongst whom were 64 terrorists awaiting trial. Over 300 ISWAP members were said to have executed the two-hour operation after destroying the security installations in the facility.

Ahmad Lawan, according to a statement issued by his media aide, Ezrel Tabiowo, said the Kuje prison break could only have been possible with the collaboration of insiders within the nation’s correctional system. Ezrel Tabiowo said the Senate President faulted the leadership of the Nigerian Correctional Service and demanded punishment for any official found to be culpable.

Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, leads Senate delegation to Kuje Prison after attack by ISWAP. But after the visit he concluded that the attack was successful because the security outfit in Nigeria has been compromised. He maintained that the Kuje prison break could only have been possible with the collaboration of insiders within the nation’s correctional system.

According to his words; “the attack on this correctional facility is symptomatic of the failure of security system in Nigeria. The attack is only a confirmation of the failure of security structure in Nigeria.

“We were told that an estimated number of 300 armed terrorists attacked this facility. They came on foot, and I believe they should have been detected. In the first place, three hundred people will not come for an operation like this without planning. Planning must have taken a week, a month or even more.

“I believe that our security agencies should have picked this from their tracking systems in the FCT. Secondly, having gone round the facility itself, we are disappointed that this facility does not have Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) cameras, something that would record and give you details of what is happening and sometimes record the events.

“This is a medium-security custodial center, how on earth in the FCT facility of this magnitude we don’t have CCTV? It means we can say that all other medium security centers across the country do not have CCTV.

“We have asked the Comptroller General of Correctional Centre to ensure that the requests for CCTV at the maximum and medium custodial centres of the country are included in their 2023 budget because this is essential and indispensable.

“Now, as this facility lacks a functional CCTV, there is no record of what happened, except narration. But if we had CCTV, at least the records would have been there and analysis made, and arrest will be based on the information from the CCTV. Thirdly, going from one cell to another to release people, especially, those that are known to be insurgents, tells a lot of story.

“It may not be far away from an insider job, someone who is either working in this place or must have worked here. I think we have to look deeper into what happened, so that we find the culprits, because when things like this happens, then there should be sanctions.

“Where people fail to do their job properly, and they have been given that responsibility, they should be asked to take responsibility. If people don’t take responsibility for their failure, then it means nobody would bother to do what is expected of their office or the job that the person has been given.

“Having this kind of situation today in the FCT, that we have criminals who are free now all over the city is very dangerous and you can never have peace of mind. The FCT has the seat of government, and today that seat is not safe. So, we have to do whatever it takes to get everybody back,” he concluded. The Senate President Ahamd Lawan added that the escaped insurgents be recaptured and brought back to the prison.

However, the youth wing of apex Igbo socio-cultural organization, Ohanaeze Ndigbo has expressed shock over the prison break which occurred at the Kuje medium prison. As it has been reported that terrorists known as ISWAP bombed the prison facility, setting free about 900 inmates, including high caliber criminals and several Boko Haram commanders.

In a statement signed by the National President of Ohanaeze Ndigbo Youth Council Worldwide, Mazi Okwu Nnabuike and the Secretary, Comrade Obinna Achionye, the group said the development was a clear indication that bandits had taken over total control of the country.

Ohanaeze recalled its earlier warning following the ambush on security agencies a few days ago. It said the Kuje prison attack is now a confirmation that bandits and terrorists have assumed total control of the country.”

Ohanaeze wondered how terrorists were able to launch such a darling attack in the Federal Capital Territory for several hours unchallenged. This is a clear case of conspiracy and heads must have to roll. There should be a panel of enquiry into the recent security breaches in the country.

“Failure of the Federal Government to take decisive action would mean it is complicit. It will leave the citizens with no doubt that the government has handed the country over to jihadists and terrorists. Foul play cannot be ruled out into what happened in Kuje prison and this is why we are calling for an independent enquiry,” the Ohanaeze youths declared.

Austine Ikeru
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