‘Prison Services loses 45 officers to insurgency’

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No fewer than 45 officers have been lost to the various attacks across the country following several cases of jail breaks by the Boko Haram insurgents in the north, the Nigerian Prison Service (NPS) said yesterday.

NPS Comptroller-General Zakari Ibrahim told reporters in Abuja that 45 warders, including high ranking officers were killed by Boko Haram militants, since the group started its ‘’unholy campaign’’ about two years ago.

Zakari, who spoke at the League of Interior Correspondents of Nigeria Accountability Forum, said that top security equipment are now being installed in several prisons to reinforce security. Besides, he said soldiers have been deployed to assist the prison mobile police to protect the prisons around the country.

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He said many prisons were vulnerable because the buildings and walls were built about 100 years ago with mud and have never been re-inforced or replaced with stronger concrete materials.

The Comptroller-General said that the insurgents usually attacked the prison formations in large numbers with heavy weaponry, saying “the attackers overwhelm our security easily because they come sometimes with 15 or 20 vehicles armed to the teeth and in their hundreds.”

He said that the NPS has been facing numerous challenges, especially as it relates to modern security equipment and dilapidated infrastructure. Zakari said: The prison establishment was indebted to several contractors and may face litigations for implemented capital projects which have not been paid for in the past two years.

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“Inadequate security weapons and gadgets required for operational uses in view of the prevailing security situation across the country where our facilities have been attacked and burnt down and some of our officers have been killed by terrorist groups are our major challenges and constraints now,” he said.


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