There have been conflicting statements issued from the office of the Edo State Commissioner of Police, Olayinka Balogun, and the state comptroller of prisons, Jimoh Ewulo, following a Sunday jail break at Oko Minimum Security Prisons, Benin City.
The prisons authorities confirmed the escape of some of the inmates, but the police have insisted that there was no escape.
Speaking on Monday, Balogun, the State police commissioner, told journalists it was untrue, misleading and unfounded that there was a bomb blast at Oko prisons or that gunmen came from outside to invade the prisons as reported.
“The Command wish to reaffirm that there was no invasion of any kind, and there was no bomb blast. The escape bid was purely the handiwork of prison inmates,” Balogun said.
“On 20th of August, 2012, 0105 hours, there was a distress call from Oko Prisons, following which police patrol teams from Airport Division and operatives from B Ops were immediately dispatched to the scene by the Commissioner of Police.”
The CP, who said he was physically present at the scene, noted that the situation was immediately curtailed as the two prisoners who had earlier escaped through holes bored from within were re-arrested.
“The Commissioner of Police was shown the two holes bored into the cell walls and one through the fence. All made by the inmates probably over the time without the knowledge of the prison warders and the security operatives within the premises,” he said.
Balogun said the situation had been brought under control, adding that security had been beefed up in and around the prison premises. He said the police were still awaiting details on the incident from
The State Comptroller of Prisons, Ewulo, however, said a big opening was created on the wall, which 12 inmates escaped through, revealing that four had been re-arrested while eight were still at large.
Ewulo said he believed an explosive device was used to create the hole, noting that investigation was ongoing to ascertain the kind of device used.
“A device might have been used. We are just investigating to know if, and what. That is what we are doing now,” he said.