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Owerri Jailbreak: Inmates Turn To Cleaning, Hawking Jobs For Survival

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An exclusive investigation by Vanguard revealed that from the thousands of fleeing inmates some were said to have taken up menial jobs within and outside the Owerri metropolis to raise money.

Vanguard was told that the choice areas for these inmates were brothels, motor parks, market square, even as some were said to have started the hawking trade. Also, some were said to have taken refuge in uncompleted buildings as their home as well as mingle around nightlife hotspots.

Eyewitnesses narrated their experiences to Vanguard with the said inmates. The places visited by Vanguard include Control post along Onitsha road, Whethdral roundabout up to Poly Junction, IMSU junction as well as Irete axis on Owerri/Onitsha road.

According to reports received by Vanguard, some notorious inmates do not want to go to their village, because they are afraid that they would be reported to the security agencies. Therefore, they engage in pick-pocketing at night to raise money quickly for themselves.

Some on the other hand are looking to raise little money through cleaning jobs as part of starting afresh, just as some of them said they needed money to go back to their villages, as their people are not even aware that they were in prison for many years and that they were imprisoned by intimidation and false allegations against them.

Those who said they had an encounter with some of the inmates, one Chike, known as “iron” said: “Our happiness is that my guy is back from prison thanks to the people who released them. My brother all the way from Ebonyi came to do hawking business and was arrested that they demolished Eke Ukwu market in Owerri. He committed no crime. We did not know he was in prison.”

Another drama was said to have played out in Control post, a group of said to be “bad boys” jubilated over their freed friends one of which was said to have been arrested in connection with an alleged robbery/kidnapping between Control post, World Bank and Hospital junction along Owerri/ Port Harcourt road.

They said: “Our men are back. We are drinking and enjoying. Work begins, who be police. Signal my man is back. They can’t come out now, later in the night. Men can’t go back to the village. That one no-follow.”

A businessman, in Irete, who did not want his name mentioned said: “Some of these inmates are innocent. Two of them were in my friends business premises. They opened up and said they were among those freed and explained how they got into prison. My brother, you will shed tears.

“Our people are suffering. They pleaded to my friend, that they want to join his boys in offloading bags of cement and clean up his business premises in order to raise money and go home. They said they are from Ngor Okpala local government area and have been in prison for more than 15 years. But my friend gave them N5000 and gave them food and that they should go home.”

In another encounter, a source, owner of a business/entertainment outfit around one of the nightlife areas in Owerri, who chose to remain anonymous said: “Is it not the prisoners that now work as cleaners? They are responsible ladies just that they look famished and malnourished, but with time they will be Ok. What they need is just rehabilitation as some of them complained that they did nothing that should warrant their imprisonment.

“Some of them are now in market places, motor parks as cleaners, some doing hawking business. It is not everything we see we say sometimes. You see, they are ready to wash plates. Some of them have repented. Some of them did not commit any offence. This is is wicked country.”


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Owerri Prison Break: Police Ignored DSS Intelligence Report Of Planned Attack


Facts emerging from the recent attack on the Imo State Police Headquarters and the Owerri Correctional Facility revealed that the Commissioner of Police ignored credible intelligence sent from the DSS warning of the impending attack.

The DSS, it was gathered, had following the receipt of the intelligence, discreetly conducted a vulnerability assessment of the 2 correctional facilities in Imo state and advised fortifications based on the discovered security weakness of the facility.

The commissioner of police received a credible intelligence report 48-72 hours before Monday, warning of an impending attack on the Police Headquarters in Imo state between April 4 and 6. Yet, Police did not heed to actionable intelligence, the consequence of which has led to over 1800 inmates loose into society.

Eons Intelligence gathered that another tragedy was averted on Tuesday as the military, acting on credible intelligence from the DSS, guarded the Okigwe prison against a similar attack from gunmen, believed to the members of the Indigenous People of Biafra.

Following Monday’s attack, Nasiru Mohammed, the Imo State Commissioner of Police has been immediately redeployed while the DC has been appointed as the Acting Commissioner of Police in the state.

Questions, however, remain unanswered as regards Monday’s attack on the Imo State Police Headquarters and the Owerri Correctional Facility.

First of which is how the formation was attacked by the gunmen who attacked for hours without the deployment of reinforcements and casualties resulting from a firefight.

Although the Police say the armoury is intact, intelligence experts speculate, that the attack could also be a ploy to cover up for the mismanagement of arms and ammunition in the command.

Source: eonsintelligence.com/details/news-108923456/imo-police-command-ignored-dss-intelligence-on-the-attack-on-police-headquarters-1287553943

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Imo Jailbreak: 85 Fleeing Inmates Return

No fewer than 85 fleeing inmates have returned to Owerri Correctional Centre which was attacked on the early hours of Monday by unknown gunmen, The PUNCH investigation has revealed.

Our correspondent recalls that 1,884 inmates were freed when the gunmen struck the Correctional Centre and the Imo State Police Command headquarters in Owerri, respectively.

The attackers who razed no fewer than 50 vehicles also attacked a military base at Ukwuorji on the Owerri-Onitsha Expressway and burnt a soldier in a car before they fled.

But our corresponden’s investigation on Wednesday revealed that 85 inmates had voluntarily returned to the Correctional Centre.

The National Public Relations Officer of the Nigeria Correctional Service had told our correspondent on Tuesday evening that 57 inmates had returned to the centre.

But a check by our correspondent on Wednesday showed that more fleeing inmates had returned to the Centre increasing the number to 85.

Further investigation by The PUNCH revealed that none of the hardened criminals had returned to the Centre.

Also, none of the inmates who were sentenced to death and and on life imprisonments had returned to the Centre.

A source at the Centre who confided in our correspondent said “we now have about 85 inmates as our custody this Wednesday afternoon. We are hopeful that more inmates would return. Though the number has not been made public but I can confirm that as of this afternoon we now have about 85 inmates.

“While some returned on their own accord, others were brought by their lawyers and family members. We are very hopeful that more inmates will come back on their own. This is just a reformative centre and we hope that those of them who have turned new leaf will come back on their own.”

When contacted, the Public Relations Officer of the Centre, James Madugba, said that he could not immediately confirm the actual number of inmates who had returned.

He, however, said that no fewer than 60 inmates had returned to the Correctional Centre.


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