Akwa Ibom Controller of Nigeria Prisons Service (NPS) , Mr Alex Oditah, on Thursday, has announced the re-arrest of 14 inmates who escaped from the Ikot Ekpene Prisons.
Oditah made the announcement in a chat with journalists in Uyo on Thursday.
Oditah explained that while four of the fleeing inmates died from gunshot wounds sustained during the incident, some of the prison officials who sustained injuries are being treated at the prison’s medical facility.
He, however, explained that 46, not 36 inmates escaped during the jailbreak which occurred on Wednesday, December 27.
He said contrary to previous reports the inmates were on routine recreational activities when some inmates suddenly overpowered prison guards on duty and escaped.
According to him, the investigation is on to unravel the cause of the incident while the area has been cordoned off for security reasons
He said that a that three-man committee had been inaugurated to ascertain the immediate and remote cause of the incident to forestall future occurrence.
“Some inmates escaped from Ikot Ekpene prison on Dec 27, at about 12.45 p.m.; To ascertain the total number of those that escaped we have to do headcount.
“We discovered that 47 inmates had escaped from the custody. Immediately, search party swung into action and 14 were recaptured,” Oditah said.
The controller added that four of those who escaped died from bullet wounds when they tried to overpower prisons officers on duty.
Oditah added that some of the prisons officials, who sustained different degrees of injuries, were receiving treatment at an undisclosed hospital.
He explained that the escaped inmates seized utensils like knives, machetes and other dangerous materials to aid their escaped.
The controller of prisons disclosed that the 400 capacity Ikot Epene prisons currently houses 831 inmates.
“The capacity for Ikot Ekpene Prisons is 400 but as of December 27, the prison custody 831 inmates most of the inmates are awaiting trials.
“The Prison facilities are overstretched and requires urgent attention,” he said.
He assured that prison officials and other security agencies were working extra hard to recapture the remaining inmates.