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Oyo jailbreak: Over 300 still missing, says Makinde


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OVER 300 inmates who escaped from Abolongo Correctional Centre in Oyo State Friday night are yet to return to the facility, state Governor Seyi Makinde has said. 

Makinde said, during a visit to the facility on Sunday, that he had ordered immediate installation of close circuit television (CCTV) cameras in all correctional facilities in the state as a means of forestalling further attacks.

The governor said the CCTVs would be linked with the security situation room in the state for effective monitoring.

Apart from the CCTV, Makinde directed that the road leading to the facility be upgraded.

In a statement signed by his Chief Press Secretary Taiwo Adisa, the governor said he could not say if the attack was an isolated event or the beginning of a bigger crisis the state would face. 

The governor described the attack as shocking and expressed regret over losing a soldier and an Amotekun operative to the incident. 

Apart from the deceased, medical experts are battling to save one other victim of the attack at the University College Hospital (UCH), Ibadan, the governor noted.

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“Investigation is still ongoing, and we cannot say precisely whether this is an isolated event or the beginning of a wider issue that we have to deal with. But whatever the case is, we have made an assessment and taken some immediate decisions.

“We have asked that the main road to this facility be graded immediately. We will position security cameras here and link it back to our security situation room. It is not just only for this facility but for other correctional facilities in the state.

“We are also making a list of critical state assets that we need to monitor, and I have also asked that the entrance and exit points into the state be monitored. We still have almost 300 criminals that are on the loose in the state. So, efforts will continue to try and apprehend the criminals and bring them back here.”

The ICIR could not confirm if the suspected warlord Iskilu Wakili was among those who fled and are yet to return to the facility.

Members of the Oodua Peoples Congress (OPC) arrested Wakili in March this year, following his alleged abductions and attacks on people in the Ibarapa-North Local Government Area of the state.

He was later charged to court on six counts of conspiracy, murder, kidnapping and armed robbery.

A magistrate court in Ibadan, the state capital, remanded the 77-year-old and his sons Abu (45), Samaila (27) and Aliyu Manu (20).

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Makinde said people would be quick to talk about ‘conspiracy theories’ regarding high-profile persons at the facility, adding that investigation was on to unravel the cause of the attack.

He promised the public would know the cause of the attack when it was unravelled.

The ICIR reported on Saturday that the jailbreak was the third in the country this year. 

This year, the first jailbreak occurred when gunmen attacked a prison in Owerri, Imo State, freeing more than 1,800 inmates before razing several Police outposts in April.

Last month, heavily armed gunmen raided a correctional facility in Kabba, Kogi State, blowing up the perimeter fence and freeing 266 inmates.

A soldier and a Police officer were killed in the attack while two prison officials were missing.

A handful of security facilities, especially Police stations, have been attacked by gunmen.

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According to estimates by Nigerian Correctional Service, Nigerian prisons hold 70,000 inmates, but only about 20,000 have been convicted.

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