The Senate Nigerian on Tuesday said it will summon Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola, the Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, and the Comptroller-General of the Nigerian Correctional Service, Haliru Nababa, to appear before it to explain the causes of jailbreaks across the country.
The upper legislative chamber also mandated its Committee on Interior to carry out a full scale investigation into the development in recent times in order to prevent future recurrence.
The move followed a motion brought to the floor by Senator Istifanus Gyang during plenary on Tuesday.
Gyang while coming under a order 42 and 52 of the Senate Rules to present his motion, noted with grief the multiple terror attacks on two communities of Ta’egbe, Rigwe and Durbi, Sheri District in a Bassa and Jos East local governments, leading to the death of over 10 persons over the weekend.
According to the lawmaker, the attacks caused by a security breach at the Jos Medium Security Correctional Centre, was a setback to the relative and much desired peace in Plateau North.
He disclosed that nine inmates including an officer identified as Umar A. Mohammed, were also killed, while 252 inmates escaped during the jailbreak.
He said among the inmates at large, six were fatally injured, 10 of the escapees re-arrested, 63 sentenced to death, 27 convicted, and 181 awaiting trials.
Gyang said that the invaders responsible for the break “walked through a security zone and broke through to have over 200 inmates escape from the centre”.
Contributing, Senator Ahmad Babba Kaita (Katsina North), blamed the spate of insecurity in Nigeria on the inadequate number of personnel across the various security agencies in the country.
He, therefore, called on the National Assembly to rise to the occasion by appropriating more funds to security agencies to enable them undertake recruitment of more personnel.
Senate Leader, Yahaya Abdullahi (Kebbi North), attributed the recent jailbreak in the country to what he described as a “porous prisons system”.
He lamented that jailbreaks had become a recurring decimal which in recent times have exposed the lives of Nigerians to harm as a result of prisoners on rampage to avenge their conviction.
Deputy Senate President, Ovie Omo-Agege, who presided over plenary on Tuesday, described the security breaches at correctional facilities as a “serious issue” that must be looked into.
He said, “Having given all the requisite funding to the security agencies, why are we still having these challenges? I think it is something we need to sleep over.
“But in the interim, it is clear that we have a serious intelligence gathering gap, there’s no debate about that.
“I think the Department of State Services and most especially the office of the NSA, have not been given the kind of funding that is required for this fight, because they are the ones that are in charge of intelligence gathering.
“I’ve always taken the position that the office of the NSA, most especially, has been underfunded.
“He is supposed to be the one coordinating intelligence gathering and providing such intelligence to the other agencies for them to give requisite protection.
“If the office of the NSA is not properly funded, then of course it means that we are all in trouble.
“I think this is something that we must appeal to Mr. President, and even here in the leadership of the National Assembly, to look into for additional funding for the office of the NSA and, possibly, that of the DSS before the budget is finally tabled for consideration.”