The House of Representatives has demanded answers from the Nigerian Correctional Service about the whereabouts of the inmates who escaped from the Kuje Medium Security Custodial Centre in 2022.
On Wednesday (yesterday), the House directed its Committees on Reformatory Institutions, Interior, and Police Affairs to collaborate with the relevant security agencies to produce a comprehensive report on the status of the escaped inmates.
The committees have been given six weeks to report back to the House for further legislative action. Emmanuel Ukpong-Udo, a member representing Ikono/Ini Federal Constituency of Akwa Ibom State, sponsored the motion that led to the resolution of the House.
During the debate, Ukpong-Udo highlighted that the Islamic State in West African Province (ISWAP) had claimed responsibility for the July 2022 attack on the Kuje Custodial Centre, which resulted in the escape of dozens of Boko Haram suspects. He further noted that 879 inmates, including 64 Boko Haram terrorists, fled the facility, with 422 remaining unrecovered or recaptured by security agencies.
The Nigeria Correctional Service has been urged by the House to provide a detailed report on inmates and establish effective methods for tracking both inmates and perpetrators using its database.
The House expressed its concern regarding the security risk posed by the presence of law-abiding citizens among the 350 escapees, who have committed various offences. It emphasized that daily crimes are being recorded without any leads on the culprits, which is alarming.
Furthermore, the House found it troubling that a year has passed and the escapees are still at large, seamlessly integrating into different communities and potentially continuing their criminal activities without detection. This highlights the urgent need for the implementation of practical measures to track down and apprehend these individuals.