The Minister of Interior, retired Lieutenant General Abdulrahman Bello Dambazau, on Monday disclosed that out of the 210 inmates that were freed by unknown gunmen on Sunday night at the Minna Medium Security Prison in Niger State, only 30 have be re-arrested.
Dambazau said 180 are still at large but will be arrested soon with he cooperation of other security agencies.
While addressing newsmen after an on-the-spot assessment after the Sunday night prison break in Minna, Dambazau said two condemned prisoners, who were to be confirmed for death sentence, were among the escapees.
According to him: “Among the escapees were two condemned criminals who were supposed to be executed today.
“That is probably part of the motivation for this prison break.
“However, investigation will bring out most of these.”
The Minister disclosed that there were some security gaps which must be covered that led to the success of the operation by the gunmen.
Dambazau said: “The visit revealed some security gaps which must be tackled to prevent future re-occurrence.”
He then said that a committee has been instituted to investigate the incident, adding that the Ministry will work with the outcome of the committee.
The Comptroller General of the Nigeria Prison Service, Alhaji Ja’afaru Ahmed, doused fears that there were Boko Haram inmates, which accounted for the jailbreak.
Ahmed said: “There is no Boko Haram suspect in Minna Prison facility.
“We do not know who attacked the prison yet but investigations will reveal it.”
He was however not forthcoming on how the gunmen gained access into the prison or the number of the officials killed or injured.
The Governor of Niger State, Alhaji Abubakar Sani Bello, who described the incident as unfortunate, said the state is set to partner with the Federal Government towards ensuring that there is no future re-occurrence.
Bello disclosed further that the incident has opened the eyes of the government to the fact that there is shortage of manpower in Minna Prisons.