Thursday, September 23, 2010

Government seeks Interpol assistance over prisoners freed by Boko Haram assault

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The Nigeria Prison Service has contacted the International Police (Interpol) to help track convicts who escaped from the federal prison in Bauchi State earlier this month during a jail break organised by the Boko Haram Islamic sect.

Prison service public relations officer, Kayode Odeyemi, confirmed the development during an exclusive telephone interview with NEXT. He said Interpol would participate in the joint intelligence manhunt being mounted by the service and the Bauchi State Police Command.

Mr Odeyemi said that 283 inmates out of the 721 who were freed were back in prison custody.

Setting the record straight

On September 7, members of the Boko Haram Islamic sect stormed the Bauchi Federal Prison in a commando-style attack, releasing 105 of their members and forcing other inmates to leave the prison.

"Other inmates set free by the Islamic sect were asked to leave the prison's custody or they would be killed," said Mr Odeyemi.



Sources disclosed that in the mayhem, the prison administrative block and armoury were set ablaze, leading to the death of a solider attached to the 33rd Artillery Brigade and a mobile police officer attached to the Bauchi State command.

Mr Odeyemi denied earlier reports that an AK-47 rifle was taken away from a prison warder by the sect. However, he refused to comment on any ongoing effort to prevent a similar event from recurring.

"That question should be directed to other security agencies that are expected to monitor any strange movements within our community," he said. "We don't have control over it."

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