‘They Are Scared Of Talking About It’

Ondo prison

Photo credit: SaharaReporters

According to SaharaReporters, residents of the Okitipupa Local Government Area of Ondo State have said they have decided to move on with their regular businesses despite the jailbreak that happened in the community where many inmates escaped from the Nigerian Correctional Service in the area after hoodlums broke into the prison and freed the inmates last Thursday.

The thugs destroyed a section of the prison yards and also set ablaze the van belonging to the Nigerian Correctional Service.

They also touched some other public and private properties in Okitipupa town which included the secretariat and the shuttle buses.

Governor Rotimi Akeredolu had visited the town and lamented over the wanton destruction.

Speaking on Tuesday, some of the residents described the jailbreak as sad but pointed out that it had no impact on their routines.

One of the residents, Tope Ikuomola, said that locals had been going about their regular businesses without any fear of the inmates being in the streets.

Ikuomola said many of the inmates would not stay in the Okitipupa town since they knew the security agents might be looking for them.

According to him, the residents of the community are “less concerned” about the release of the inmates by the miscreants, who hijacked the peaceful protest to commit the crime.

A bricklayer, Abiodun Iyiade, who is also a resident of the town, said he was not moved by the jailbreak, noting that he had been facing his business.

Iyiade, who explained that he had already told his only female child to be vigilant, said the security agencies had also assured them of safety.

“So, we have nothing to fear. We have been in the town. And as I speak with you, some of the prison officers are even scared of talking about it because they would be blamed for the action,”
he said.

“I was able to gather, at the weekend, that the ones who escaped have minor charges and they mostly those who are awaiting trial. They are after them already. So, why should we be worried about that?”

Ibironke Ogunmola, a nurse in the town, described the attack on the prison as “barbaric” and asked the security agencies to carry out a proper investigation.

She said that the jailbreak must have been masterminded by those sponsoring the thugs, noting that the police needed to avoid illegal arrests of innocent citizens.

“We have left the rest for the security agencies to do. So, we are less concerned if some inmates escaped or not. Those who escaped are out of the town already, and it is left for the police to do their job by going after those who escaped, not carrying out the illegal arrest,”
Ogunmola said.

A prison officer, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, told SaharaReporters that several office items were destroyed and looted by the hoodlums.

He hinted that the authorities had started compiling the lists of the escaped inmates, adding that reported figures of those who escaped from the facility would soon be made known.

A spokesman for the Nigerian Correctional Service in Ondo, Ogundare Babatunde, said the jailbreak was being investigated and asked to be given time to get more facts on the incident.

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