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CSOs demand Edo jailbreak probe, escapee prisoner, staff list

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By Nosa Akenzua, Benin

A coalition of civil society organisations in Edo state, Network of Civil Society Organisations of Nigeria (NOCSON), has charged the state police command to publish the names of its personnel on duty on the day of the jailbreak and the escapee prisoners, considering the state of insecurity in the country.

NOCSON acting president, Mr Ogbidi Emmanuel, and its director of publicity, Bevy Efe, who made the demand at a news briefing in Benin City, Edo state, however, expressed shock that such incident could happen in the most securely policed facility in the state without any external attack, adding that the incident could not have happened without sabotage or collaboration with the officers who were on duty.

The group expressed disappointment with the report it got when its members visited the police authorities in Benin City on a fact-finding mission, adding that the latest jailbreak in the city proved that similar incident in the two correctional facilitates in the state during the #EndSARS protest was not done by the protesters: “We, therefore, want the state government to set up an inquiry into all recent jailbreak in Benin. The Edo police command must declare the escapees wanted and also publish their names, photographs and information about them in local and national print and electronic media within the 48 hours.

“The police must isolate and detain all the operatives who were on duty, including the senior officers that had dealing with the cell, 24 hours before the incident. We cannot rule out any of the officers’ possible contact with the suspects until investigations are concluded. The officers identified must be made known to the public. NOCSON insists that there is more to these jailbreaks in Edo state than meets the eye. We, therefore, urge Governor Godwin Obaseki, as the state’s chief security officer, to urgently institute an inquiry into the circumstances surrounding the jailbreaks. The Nigeria Police must do everything possible to ensure effective policing in Edo.”

The group also called for internal mechanism to be put in place to prevent future occurrence and restore Edo people’s confidence in the police

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