Inmates of Okaka Prison in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State detonated an improvised explosive device in an attempted jailbreak on Monday. While six inmates were arrested after the explosion, others may have escaped, according to prison sources.
Victor Chiabua, Controller of the Nigerian Prisons Service in the state, said that the incident occurred at about 9:02 p.m. on Sunday.
Mr. Chiabua said that an investigation revealed the six inmates who detonated an explosive device in their cell. He denied reports that some inmates escaped.
“An investigation into the dastardly act revealed that the mastermind of the attempted escape got an improvised explosive device (IED) through one of his visitors. The IED was concealed in a Blue Band Margarine Butter pack. They put the device inside cellophane and covered it with margarine to make it look as if it was butter.
“There was a very loud bang in the prison yard which attracted the attention of the security operatives on duty. The prompt response by the Police, Department of State Services, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps and armed squad of the Prison Service actually aborted what could have been a jailbreak.
”The response was immediate, as the prison’s armed squad with other security officers on duty advanced to the scene of explosion and the about-to-flee inmates were arrested and kept in separate cells,” he said.
A source at the prison who pleaded anonymity said the mastermind of the attempted break, Victor Tekekuma, has been awaiting trial for murder and kidnapping since 2013.
The source said that although Mr. Tekekuma was rearrested, some of the inmates gained freedom from the facility before security agencies responded to the distress call by prison officials.
"In the confusion that ensued, it was not possible to ascertain the number of inmates that escaped. Our men are already on the trail of the escapees, but you know that given the security implication of such a security breach it will be impossible for the service to admit any escape," the source said.