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25 Jul 2017

Prison Break: Inmates bomb cell as security operatives bust criminals

Security operatives have foiled an attempt by some inmates to escape from the Okaka Prison in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State.
The incident, which occurred at about 9.02pm on Sunday, saw the suspects bombing one of the cells with an improvised explosive device.

It was learnt that the prompt arrival of security operatives from the military, police, Department of State Services, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, and armed squad of the Nigerian Prisons Service thwarted the plot.

It was learnt that the operatives rounded up the six fleeing inmates after they had passed through a hole created by the explosive device.

A source, said the mastermind of the attempted prison break, one Victor Tekekuma, had been awaiting trial for murder and kidnapping since 2013.

The source said Tekekuma allegedly used the IED to make a huge hole in the toilet, through which the six inmates escaped from the cell.

He said, “The inmates, after coming out of the cell through the hole, fell into the hands of security operatives.

“The noise of the explosion had drawn the attention of the armed security operatives who advanced to the scene, leading to the arrest of six of the inmates who attempted to escape.’’

A security source said the IED was allegedly brought to Tekekuma by one John Koko, said to be his brother-in-law from Sangana in the Brass area of Bayelsa State.

He said, ‘’Investigation into the act revealed that the mastermind of the attempted jailbreak got the IED from one of his visitors.

‘’They put the device inside cellophane and covered it up with margarine.’’

The Controller, Nigerian Prisons Service, Bayelsa State, Mr. Victor Chiabua, confirmed the incident, saying the prompt response of security operatives “aborted what could have been a jailbreak.’’

Chiabua gave the names of the suspects as Victor Tekekuma, Korinaike Mark, Gideon Gbagbe, Angiamene Alex, Daniel Abraham and Pius Inyang.

He said, “The attempted jailbreak happened at about 9.02pm on Sunday, July 23, 2017.

“The response was immediate, as prison armed squad, and other security officers on duty advanced to the scene of the explosion. The about-to-flee inmates were arrested and kept in a separate cell. They were six.”

When our correspondent visited the prison on Monday, some Okaka residents said they had yet to recover from the shock of the Sunday incident.

They said they could not sleep due to sporadic shootings throughout the night by security agents.

It was gathered that the shootings were to scare criminals who might want to cash in on the situation to perpetrate crime, as well as to ward off any external incursion.

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