As cases of Insecurity continues to flood the media space since Monday when unknown Gunmen stormed Owerri, broke into the custodial Centre with the aide of explosives and freed no fewer than 1,844 inmates reactions were gathered from concerned Nigerians.
And as if this unlawful release of these huge number of inmates into the Society wasn’t dangerous enough, the perpetuators also attacked and razed the state police headquarters.
Security sources closer to the state revealed that the miscreants for about 30 minutes before attacking the facilities chanted solidarity songs at the Government house roundabout and the implications of this cannot be overemphasized.
Recall that in October 2020, after the jailbreak in Edo State, one of the inmates who escaped from the Oko Correctional Centre in the state during the violence that skyrocketed after hoodlumes hijacked the #EndSARS protest, went to kill the prosecutor witness during his trial.
Babatunde Kokumo, the then commissioner of Police, said while parading the inmates, “after having escaped from the Oko Correctional Centre, he ran back to his village on the same day to kill the person who stood as a prosecution witness in the case that took him to the correctional centre, but he has been arrested.”
A security practitioner and fellow, Institute of Security Nigeria, Mr Chigozie Ubani, while commenting on the recent incidence noted that the criminal release of inmates, some of whom he said could be assiduous could be imperilled.
Chigozie, said “The implication is largely grievous. There are people who are so hardened and hardly feel remorse for the offences they committed even when they have been found guilty or they confess to the crime.
“If such a person comes back to the society with a lot of vengeance, it could be a problem. There are recidivists and so to a large extent, society is imperilled. It is not in our interest that inmates are set free in this manner because some of them may go back to either the crime that took them to the correctional centre or commit the worst crimes. So, it is a big security threat.”
To Ubani, the reasons for the jailbreaks are both sociological and issues around poor security.
He said, “I have been to a couple of them and I found out that it would be easy to break into some of these facilities without any serious challenge.
“As you begin to arrest and detain vicious kidnappers, armed robbers, high-profile individuals, who have the means to sponsor attack on correctional centres, secessionists who have been outlawed and the other elements from neighbouring countries who come here and cause you upgrade your security.”
He said, “Let it be known that I’m not justifying what they have done and I’m not saying they were right, but we need to examine the issues dispassionately to know why it’s becoming a norm in the Nigerian society.
“When a society is running on a template of multiple layers of injustice, it becomes very difficult to justify incarceration and so it will be difficult to maintain law and order in all spheres of that society. We have moved to a point where some people now believe that it is morally unjustifiable for any government to put anybody in correctional centres.
“Why? People who steal government money find their way out of jail without serving their term. It’s just like telling the people times are hard and the leaders live in opulence and drive expensive SUVs. It makes no sense. I’m using a gamut of analogies to say that there is anger and perceived injustice in the way the law is applied.
“Right now, some people in correctional centres feel they are being wrongly incarcerated even when they are guilty of the offences, because those who are highly connected are getting away with the same offences or even more heinous offences. With this, they now gang-up against the society.”