Between July 27, 2009, when Boko Haram terrorists allegedly attacked Maiduguri Prisons and freed 482 inmates and October 29, 2014 when another set of 366 inmates were also freed following the overrun of Mubi, the second largest town in Adamawa state, a total 2,255 prison inmates have been freed from various prisons across the country in 14 different attacks.
However, 194 of the escapee inmates have so far been rearrested.
Spokesperson for the Nigerian Prisons Service (NPS), Mr. Ope Fatinikun gave the figures in Abuja yesterday, at the Forum of Spokespersons of Security and Response Agencies (FOSSRA)/I-Nigerian Initiative media interaction, in Abuja.
“A total of forty six prison officers comprising forty two serving and four retired personnel have been killed since the inception of the insurgency”, he said.
Fatinikun noted that inmates feeding allowance has been reviewed upwards from the current N200 to N300 and Gas N150 daily from January 2015.
He identified inadequate budgetary allocation, prison congestion, inadequate staffing, insurgency and terrorism as some of the challenges facing the Service, said as at June this year, 56,785 inmates made up of 18,042 convicted and 38,743 awaiting trial persons were dwelling inside the 239 prisons located in different parts of the country.
Fatinikun observed that congestion of prisons is caused by a number of factors including inadequate operational vehicles like the case in Lagos and Kaduna with over 200 and 100 courts respectively and the NPS has only 20 and 10 vehicles to convey inmates to courts for trials.
Earlier, National Coordinator of I-Nigerian Initiate, Ada Stella Apiafi appealed to Nigerians to change their negative attitude towards prisoners, ex-convicts and prison officials, saying “these people should be shown love and accommodation in the society so that they will be properly re-integrated.