THE Nigeria Prisons Service has disclosed that security agencies are after the eight pre-trial detainees, including a notorious criminal, Chibueze Henry Oyenkachi, aka vampire, who had escaped during attack on inmates at Owerri High Court last week.
Controller General of Prisons, Ja’afaru Ahmed, who made this known when he visited the Federal Medical Centre, Owerri, Imo State to commensurate with the victim of the recent attack on prisoners by yet to be identified gunmen within the premises of Owerri High Court.
It would be recalled that on January 27, 2017 at about 10am, 58 pre-trial detainees who were taken to Owerri High Court in 2 Black Maria Court Duty Vehicles were attacked as the inmates disembarked from the vehicles within the premises of the court.
A statement on Monday in Abuja, said Mr Ja’afaru had earlier visited four other inmates that sustained various degrees of bullet wounds who are now receiving treatment in Owerri prisons clinic and paid for their treatment.
The gunmen who were said to have strategically positioned themselves in the premises opened fire and shot sporadically hitting five inmates in the process.
The escort wardens in collaboration with other sister security agencies were able secure 49 of the inmates and returned them to safe custody.
The statement said it was unfortunate that a notorious criminal nicknamed vampire, on whose behalf the hoodlums were suspected to have carried out the dastardly act, and seven other prisoners escaped.
Ja’afaru, however, promised to improve welfare package for prisoners especially medical attention to those in need.
The prisons boss who had earlier been received by the Deputy Governor of Imo State, Prince Eze Madumere, at the government house, visited the Chief Judge of the State, Hon Justice Pascal Obinna Nnaji, whose premises the unfortunate incident occurred.
The Chief Judge promised to continue to support the course of speedy trial of inmates with a view to decongesting the prison and mitigate security concerns usually associated with managing suspects in custody.
The CGP commended other security agencies for their prompt response and assure members of the public that the fleeing fugitives would be rearrested in no distant time.
He also appealed to the public to provide useful information that would lead to their arrest particularly the notorious vampire while thanking the Governor of Imo State for taking the lead in this direction through promising financial reward for information that would aid his arrest.
Owerri prison was built in 1905 with an intake capacity of 540 inmates, but as at the time of the incident, the prison had a population of 2,260 prisoners. Out of this number 2,044 are awaiting trial.
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